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The Importance of Good Career Guidance

“The need to take sustained action to improve career guidance is more pressing than ever.” David Sainsbury, Settlor of the Gatsby Charitable Foundation


It’s critical that young people raise their aspirations, capitalise on the opportunities available to them and are exposed to the career paths they can access. Motivated by this, the Gatsby Charitable Foundation have studied successful schools globally and developed 8 benchmarks for successful careers guidance in schools.

The Yes Futures programmes explicitly fulfil two of these benchmarks, providing students with encounters with employers and employees, and giving them meaningful workplace experiences that will help them develop skills they can utilise in their future professions.


Benchmark 5: Encounters with employers and employees

"Young adults who recall four or more encounters with employers while at school are five times less likely to be NEET and earn, on average, 18% more than peers who recall no such activities. Yet today only 40% of young people have this kind of meaningful encounter with an employer." — Dr Anthony Mann

Gatsby Benchmark 5 highlights the importance of young people having meaningful encounters with employers, to learn about work, employment and the skills that are valued in the workplace.

During the Yes Futures programmes, students receive a series of coaching sessions from their dedicated Yes Futures Coach. Coaches come from a variety of backgrounds including entrepreneurs, professional coaches, students and corporate workers. Students build strong relationships with their own Coach as well as having interactions with other Yes Futures’ Coaches.

Alongside their continued relationship with their Coach, students encounter other professionals on their World of Work and Play Your Part day. Here they have many opportunities to ask questions about employees experiences, qualifications and journeys into their current role. We encourage open and honest questioning of employees, giving students a genuine insight into a broad range of career paths.

Benchmark 6: Experiences of workplaces

Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace to help their exploration of career opportunities and to expand their networks.

This is especially critical for students from less advantaged backgrounds: Nearly half (44%) of the most advantaged young people found work experience through family and friends, compared to less than 1 in 5 (18%) of the least-advantaged (Teach First, 2017).

Through the Yes Futures programme, all students visit an inspirational workplace on our World of Work day. Our partners include Twitter, EY, Canon, Wembley Stadium and HP. Students improve their knowledge of working life, meet professionals and participate in a skills-based workshop.

After completion of the Yes Futures programme, all students are invited to become Yes Futures Ambassadors. This gives students access to a network of peers and opportunities to develop their skills beyond our programmes. Ambassadors will be able to form relationships with other students as well as network with individuals who could help them in choosing a career path.

Watch a video about the Finding Futures programme (our primary programme)

Watch a video about the Rising Futures programme (our secondary programme)


To find out more about how your students could benefit from our programmes, please contact Sophie Bartlett, Impact Manager:, 07840 537893.

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