Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has welcomed a £500,000 boost for careers education in the region.

Careers & Enterprise Company funding will make the city-region one of 20 ‘Careers Hubs’ in England, helping young people develop relationships and contacts with employers, and inspiring them to consider a wide range of employment opportunities.

GM LEP worked alongside Greater Manchester Combined Authority and partner organisations to bid for funding through a new nationwide careers strategy launched by the Government in December.

Teachers and staff at 36 Greater Manchester schools and colleges will receive intensified training and support from the new Bridge GM Careers Hub to develop an integrated approach to prepare 30,000 leavers for the world of work in the modern economy.

Mo Isap, GM LEP’s schools lead, said that success in securing the investment was recognition of the passion and ambition that Greater Manchester has for ensuring the best possible opportunities for its young people.

Mr Isap said he was confident that the funding boost would make a real difference in Greater Manchester.

“We have worked hard to establish the leadership and working dynamic to ensure this investment can achieve the maximum impact,” he added.

“The Careers & Enterprise Company was impressed by the ambitious proposal of the Bridge GM Careers Hub, which reflects the ambition we have for our young people.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester and LEP board member, Andy Burnham, said: “To have bid for and received over half a million pounds of funding is a great achievement; it will have a significant impact on Greater Manchester’s young people.

“For too long careers advice in our schools and colleges has been seen as an add-on to education. While the Bridge GM Careers Hub is about securing employment, it is also about enabling our young people to prepare for, and locate, the right kind of work for them.

“This signals a significant step-change in preparing our young people for the world of work by educating them and making them aware of the opportunities in our dynamic regional economy.”

The Greater Manchester Careers Hub will launch at the start of the new academic year in September and will comprise schools and colleges from across all 10 boroughs in Greater Manchester.

Schools and colleges in the Hub will lead change and improvements in careers education working alongside specialist employers, universities, training providers, and career professionals to improve careers education.

The Bridge GM Careers Hub will have access to support and funding over two years and will help schools and colleges implement the eight Gatsby Benchmarks of excellent careers education.

Councillor Sean Fielding, Leader of Oldham Council and GMCA lead for Education and Skills, said: “The Bridge GM Careers Hub is a hugely exciting prospect for Greater Manchester, providing a robust system of support and best practice for the 36 schools and colleges involved.

“High quality careers education, information, advice and guidance is vital to ensuring all our young people transition from school and college ready for the challenge ahead.

“Greater Manchester is leading the charge to bridge the gap between business and education and the Bridge GM Careers Hub is another step to achieving our ambitions.”

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“We’re excited by the potential impact of Hubs. If employers, schools and colleges can better prepare young people for the world of work, we’re not just benefiting the future economy, but improving prospects for thousands of young people.”