University Tips Blog
Image of a teacher mapping the Gatsby Benchmarks
A headshot image of the author, Charlotte Kettlewell

by Charlotte Kettlewell

Outreach and Schools Liaison Officer at University College Birmingham

posted on 12 Apr '24

Supporting you to achieve the Gatsby Benchmarks

The ever-changing landscape of careers can feel a little overwhelming for careers advisers. However, university officers are always happy to support you with Gatsby wherever we can. When booking programmes with universities, please let your contact know which benchmarks you wish to hit, as we may be able to amend pre-existing content to suit your needs.

Please find a guide below showing how universities can support you with each one of the eight!

Gatsby Benchmark 1. A stable careers programme

We hope that involving a university can help with your wraparound approach to careers. You can book us in for multiple programmes or have an agreed workshop for different year groups. Just remember to book in advance so you can publish it on your website.

Gatsby Benchmark 2. Learning from career and labour market information

This depends on the offer of the university. Some universities will offer workshops that focus on careers information and others won’t. Do enquire with each institution about your needs as they may surprise you – many universities have a focus on careers and will tell students how their study options can impact or support future employment.

Gatsby Benchmark 3. Addressing the needs of each pupil

As part of a visit, we aim to support as many pupils as possible. But to hit this benchmark, 1-2-1 advice must be recorded. If you provide resources for the university representative to complete for student records, we can talk through the student’s next steps and support by giving further guidance – similar to benchmark eight.

Gatsby Benchmark 4. Linking curriculum learning to careers

Universities run a number of subject-specific taster workshops, so let us know what students are currently studying so we can link your curriculum to ours. We can also include a discussion around the career prospects in those areas.

Gatsby Benchmark 5. Encounters with employers and employees

All university staff that visit your school or college are technically employees and represent a company, so you could ask university representatives to share information about their role with your students, to help hit benchmark five. Ask us to provide a slide at the beginning of a talk or workshop, or set questions to answer at a careers fair.

Gatsby Benchmark 6. Experiences of workplaces

Enquire as to whether we can host work experience or shadowing opportunities for your students or if we could come in during work experience weeks to run workshops.

Gatsby Benchmark 7. Encounters with further and higher education

The most obvious of the bunch! Universities can always help you with benchmark seven, in whatever capacity you need us. Some universities also provide apprenticeships or further education courses, so they may be able to support with more than higher education.

Gatsby Benchmark 8. Personal guidance

Whether it’s a mock interview or a personal statement check, university officers are always happy to give personalised information, advice and guidance. While we aren’t usually qualified careers advisers, we’re here to support decision-making, so please ask us. This is particularly useful for pre-16 students, as the guidance doesn’t have to be completed by a Level 6 IAG Adviser. Some officers may also be Level 6 trained, so please ask as we may be able to support with this benchmark for post-16 students too.

Examples of how universities can support you with the Gatsby Benchmarks:

• taster days
• mock interviews and personal statement checks
• work placement opportunities
• workshops (careers, choosing a course, subject-specific)
• careers fairs
• assemblies and talks
• mentoring
• summer schools

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