Blackpool Opportunity Area launches online careers support

An online careers package has been launched by the Blackpool Opportunity Area to support Year 10 and 11 pupils and provide guidance on training, further education and the world of work.

Start in Blackpool is a FREE digital platform designed to support each pupil’s individual career journey and prepare them for employment.

The online Blackpool Careers Journey forms part of the learning platform and is now live on the website. It offers a series of short courses for young people to boost their employability training as well as improve their skills and knowledge.

Created by careers guidance company U-Explore, the courses have been tested with professionals and pupils from Educational Diversity.

The priority in the first instance is to target vulnerable young people who are at risk of ending up not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Pupils will benefit from a wide variety of resources from education providers and be able to learn about future careers as well gaining an insight into the vast job opportunities available across the Fylde coast.

The online Blackpool Careers Journey is funded by the Blackpool Opportunity Area. Blackpool is one of 12 Opportunity Areas set up by the Department for Education to improve education standards and help every child and young person in the area to reach their full potential.

The main aim is to improve outcomes for children and young people from education through to employment.

This means that children should be well prepared to start school by the time they are aged five, be able to achieve their full potential whilst at school and college and be well-informed to make ambitious choices about their future as adults.

The Blackpool Opportunity Area has three priority areas including raising attainment in Blackpool’s schools, supporting vulnerable children to stay in education, and improving advice and support for young people when moving between schools/colleges and into work.

The programme is now in its fourth year of funding and will run until August 2021.

Mike Taplin, Blackpool Opportunity Area Delivery Lead, said: “This new digital facility provides a fantastic opportunity for the young people in our community to access high quality careers information, advice and guidance, as they start thinking about their futures in Year 11, making urgent decisions about their next steps.

“Despite the challenges that the lockdown has brought, we want to prepare year our older pupils for their next steps, whatever their ambitions.

“We want to encourage young people in Blackpool at this stage in their education to make full use of the excellent courses available to support their career journey.

“We are striving to provide young people with the opportunities to thrive and make a success of their lives which is why we are confident that Start in Blackpool will help our young people as they plan for their futures in these very challenging times.”

Matt Peters, Managing Director of U-Explore Ltd, said: “We are delighted to add virtual learning to the successful Start in Blackpool web resource.

“We have been inundated with support from education providers, employers and other stakeholders in the town to create something truly ground-breaking.

“Employers are providing exciting virtual work experience opportunities with hands on tasks and video instruction that suits the YouTube generation and students receive certificates to help their onward progression. The platform will grow over the coming months and be something the town can be justifiably proud of.”

Cllr Kath Benson, Blackpool Council Cabinet Member for Schools, Education and Aspiration, added: “The online Blackpool Careers Journey provides young people in Blackpool with an opportunity to learn more about employers, higher education and apprenticeships as well as businesses within the local area and to make informed decisions about their future careers.”

For more information on the Blackpool Careers Journey, visit