Career Colleges Trust

14-19 | Preparing young people for work

A new concept in further education


Career Colleges increase the range and choice of vocational education opportunities for 14-19 year olds. With employers and Further Education (FE) colleges working closely together, this unique and innovative model of education is helping to address the growing skills gaps we are seeing in the UK. Our over-arching goal is to ensure that every young person leaving a Career College will go onto further/higher education, an apprenticeship or indeed, work.


About Career Colleges


Welcome to Career Colleges


Improving the quality of technical and vocational education in this country is something I have been working hard to do for many years.

Snobbery killed off our technical schools in the 1950s and vocational pathways were very much seen as a route for the ‘less academically able’. This has led to a severe skills shortage in the UK – a problem which is only going to get worse over the next ten years.

We need to act in order to protect our economy and I am pleased to say that finally, things are beginning to change. This is largely thanks to the development of some high quality vocational options for 14-19 year olds within our education system, which include Career Colleges, University Technical Colleges and Studio Schools.

I launched the concept of Career Colleges in October 2013 and we now have a network around the country, specialising in a variety of industries from Hospitality to Digital Technology. Crucially, the specialist vocational training is underpinned with solid academic teaching in core subjects like maths and English, ensuring students receive a well-rounded education.

We have huge support from industry – with employers getting involved in both the design and the delivery of the curriculum.  As a result, Career College students are being equipped with relevant, real world skills, which is of benefit to both them and to UK industry as a whole.

I am delighted to see our Career College network growing, providing opportunities for young people and helping businesses to grow. I look forward to seeing further growth and success over the coming years.


Lord Kenneth Baker

Former Education Secretary

Trustee and Founder of the Career College Trust

Chairman of the Edge Foundation and Chairman of the Baker Dearing Educational Trust


What is a Career College?

Career Colleges have carefully designed programmes, which incorporate core academic elements with highly practical vocational and technical education. This education is designed to equip young people with the skills to enter a career in a particular industry.
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Why we need Career Colleges

People with outstanding vocational abilities are vital to our economy. Sadly, however, vocational education and training is often undervalued.
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Employers – Getting Involved

Employers are integral to the success of Career Colleges – and will be key in establishing a two-way street between education and work.
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Students – choosing to go to a Career College

Career Colleges are a new concept in education, with employers taking a leading role in designing and delivering the curriculum.
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Founder Members and Trustees

Trustees and founder members are the Edge Foundation and Helping Hands Trust.


Supporting Organisations


Awarding bodies

The AoC have been closely involved in the development of the Career College concept.




Ruth Gilbert

Chief Executive
Roger Dawe

Roger Dawe


Find a Career College




What is a Career College?

How do Career Colleges differ from a regular FE College?

Why are they important? Why do we need them?

Who conceived, developed and launched CCs?

Who funds them? Are they profit-making ventures?

Who runs the Career Colleges? Is there a separate Principal?

How many Career Colleges are now open?

How many students are there?

Who decides on the curriculum? Can they specialise in ANY subject?

Are there specific entrance requirements?

Do students still study for academic qualifications (GCSE/A levels)?

How would an FE college go about setting up a Career College? Can any College apply to set one up or are there requirements in regards to the Colleges performance levels?

If an FE College sets up a ‘Career College’ as part of its offering – does it get ownership of the students or will a separate organisation take the lead?

What sort of private companies sponsor Career Colleges? Can any company get involved or do they have to meet certain criteria?

Why is the entry age 14? Isn’t this too young for children to specialise in subjects and decide on their future career?

Is there a risk Career Colleges will create a two-tier education system in which brighter children avoid them?

Does the Government fully support Career Colleges? Is it providing funding?

How do Career Colleges fit with the Government’s plans for education?

How are Career Colleges scrutinised?

Who is responsible for the success of the Career Colleges?

Can a Career College specialise in STEM subjects or are these the preserve of University Technical Colleges?

How are employers involved?

How much is each college paying to become a Career College? What is the minimum fee?

What do they get for their money?



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Contact Us

Career Colleges Trust

4 Millbank

Registered office address

Building 1000
Kings Reach
Yew Street

Registered in England and Wales

No. 8719694