Small Charity Week

The Importance of Good Career Guidance

Blog post   •   Jun 13, 2018 15:31 BST

“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.

96% of students feel that the programme has helped them to become more prepared for the future

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.

„Taking part in this programme has improved my social skills and confidence and has prepared me for the future and the outside world. I loved the programme.”– Keegan, St Angela’s

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 anetwork 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.

“If I hadn’t taken part in Yes Futures, I don’t think I would have ever discovered the wide range of skills and achievements I have. When I go for interviews I draw on lots of examples from my experiences with Yes Futures because so much of the programme relates to skills needed in the work place.”- Adam, Yes Futures Ambassador


Yes Futures is really excited to be part of Small Charities Week again this year. We'll be taking the opportunity to engage with some of our students and volunteers about why they love Yes Futures, and I'm personally really looking forward to attending the Big Advice Day and benefiting from support in a range of different areas.

The week provides a great platform from which to boost the profile of what we do and move closer to our vision where all young people are confident, resilient and lead fulfilling lives. 


Our Impact Manager Sophie Bartlett joins Yesfutures since June 2017 because she is passionate about giving young people the very best start in life and helping them go on to achieve and develop their dreams. Sophie is experienced in the Global Corporates Team, Lloyds Bank and working with young people from a variety backgrounds, as a Summer Camp and Girlguiding Leader.