Skip to main content
Welsh Government


We can help governing bodies understand their role in supporting the strategy for careers and work-related experiences (CWRE) in the Curriculum for Wales.

Careers and work-related experiences (CWRE)

What is CWRE?

CWRE content includes:

  • Impartial careers advice and guidance from a qualified professional (secondary schools)
  • Work-related experiences (for example bringing employers or alumni into the classroom or visits to industry)
  • Labour Market Information (LMI)
  • Opportunity awareness (post 16 options, post 18 options, making informed decisions, pathways, growth sectors)
  • Transition planning (research, putting plans in place, decision making, readiness)
  • Curriculum enrichment activities (careers fairs, mock interviews, industry visits)

Why is CWRE important?

CWRE enables learners to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding in preparation
for the challenges and opportunities of further learning and the ever-evolving world of work.

CWRE contributes towards a learner’s realisation of the four purposes of the Curriculum for Wales.

What do governors need to know?

Governing bodies have a key role in supporting schools and settings with ensuring that careers and work-related experiences (CWRE) is embedded throughout the 3-16 continuum and across the curriculum to support all learners to make progress. It should not be taught as a stand-alone subject. Schools should design CWRE as an integral part of their curriculum and learning experiences. All practitioners have a role to play in its realisation.

Schools and settings should develop CWRE across the curriculum for learners to explore and understand the world of work in developmentally appropriate contexts. CWRE provides real-world learning and experiences for developing their skills and applying their knowledge and understanding within the Areas. In doing so, CWRE supports the design of a purposeful curriculum and opportunities for authentic learning, which are vital to learners’ increasing understanding and career choices as they progress.

More information about CWRE

Who is responsible for CWRE in the Curriculum for Wales?

Schools have the flexibility to decide how best to deliver CWRE provision in their own setting, however, the overall responsibility for, and coordination of CWRE provision, must lie with the settings governing body and senior leadership team. Each setting must decide how CWRE roles and responsibilities will be shared amongst its staff, to make best use of their skills and expertise.

Statutory guidance for CWRE has been developed to support practitioners and governing bodies in schools and settings to plan, design and implement CWRE as a cross-cutting theme across the Curriculum for Wales for learners from the ages 3 to 16. The guidance for CWRE is issued under section 71 of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 (“the Act”).

The CWRE programme must be coordinated, planned and delivered by staff from the school and setting. Whilst the school and setting are responsible for the effective coordination and delivery of CWRE, an effective programme can only be achieved by working in collaboration with other organisations, such as Careers Wales, employers, further and higher education providers, entrepreneurs, advisers, parents/carers, trainers and community groups offering relevant opportunities linked to their areas of expertise.

How will Estyn inspect a school or setting's careers and work-related experiences provision?

During an Estyn inspection, the inspection team will consider the quality of care, support and guidance provided. This will include evaluating the provider’s curriculum and to consider how well the school or setting provides learning experiences that inspire learners and raise their aspirations around future careers and the world of work, helping them make informed choices. Inspectors will also evaluate how well the school or setting provides effective, impartial guidance and advice to learners, for example relating to future careers choices.

Welsh Government

The Welsh Government is keen for employers, schools and others to work together to inspire young people about the world of work. It is strongly supportive of initiatives to promote apprenticeships, Jobs Growth Wales+, enterprise, employability, awareness of STEM careers, financial capability and volunteering.

What can governors contribute?

Collectively and individually, governors bring a range of skills and knowledge that can help improve the quality of a school or settings careers provision including:

  • Useful contacts to support employer engagement activities in schools and colleges
  • Awareness of the needs and expectations of students, their families and the wider community
  • Understanding of the local labour market and its opportunities
  • Contacts in other education and training provision and in the community, which can be harnessed to create opportunities for students
  • Personal experience of career planning and development in employment and adult life
  • Business, financial and HR skills to support strategic planning, effective deployment of resources, workforce development and review and evaluation
What actions could the governing body consider?

A governing body could consider the following actions:

  • Encouraging the school or setting to work towards achieving or maintaining a Careers Wales quality improvement award to instil confidence in the careers provision and raise the profile of the school
  • Ensuring the oversight of the school or setting CWRE provision by the appropriate staff, for example ensuring that the careers policy is up to date and monitoring the effectiveness of provision against the school’s annual delivery/development plan
  • Review reports ensuring that methods of intervention are centrally recorded, funding streams such as the Pupil Deprivation Grant are being used to good effect and destination data is embedded as part of the school’s overall use of raising attainment, achievement and participation
  • Identifying a link governor, such as a local employer governor, to support and challenge the careers staff
  • Seeking out appropriate opportunities to talk to learners about their experience of the school’s careers provision for example attending events or taking part in school council meetings
  • Encouraging school careers staff to achieve relevant qualifications, for example Level 6 certificate Career Leadership
Questions for Governors to ask the Senior Leadership Team.

Are we fulfilling our statutory duties regarding careers guidance?

Follow-up questions could include:

  • How well does the provision match the requirements of relevant legislation, Estyn inspection criteria and Welsh Government recommendations?
  • Does the school have a careers guidance policy in place that is reviewed by the governing body or appropriate governors committee (ideally every two years or in line with their school development plan) and reflects national requirements and our ambitions?
  • Does the school have a member of the Senior Leadership Team who takes overall responsibility for leading and managing the school’s careers provision?
  • Does the school have a member of the Senior Leadership Team who is responsible for supporting the professional learning of school careers staff?

What difference is the school’s performance making to the career-related attainment and progression of our students?

Follow-up questions could include:

  • Has the school and the governing body analysed the data on destinations at the end of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 going back over the last 3 to 5 years?
  • Does the school and governing body regularly evaluate data on the quality and impact of the school’s careers provision and use it to inform improvement?
  • How does the school and the governing body promote its careers provision to pupils, their families, local education partners and employers?

What contribution is our careers provision making to school effectiveness and improvement?

Follow-up questions could include:

  • Does the school’s annual careers delivery plan make clear how careers work will support the achievement of the goals in the school’s improvement plan?
  • On which recommendations, made by Estyn, is the school’s careers provision having a positive impact?

Have we allocated sufficient resources to meet our duty and are we getting value for money?

Follow-up questions could include:

  • How much does the careers and work-related experiences provision cost the school?
  • How does the school manage its Partnership Agreement with Careers Wales?
  • What is the budget process for careers?
  • How does the school negotiate the contribution of other partners?

Careers Wales and CWRE

We are a bilingual, inclusive, and impartial national careers service for Wales, owned and remitted by Welsh Government. Support is offered to learners to help them better understand the world of work, the skills they need and the opportunities available to them. Our professionally qualified careers advisers work with learners in all secondary settings and colleges across Wales and have a particular role in helping disadvantaged and vulnerable students to make transitions and those at risk of becoming NEET (not in education, employment, or training).

In addition, we offer support to schools and settings to review and improve their careers provision, in line with the ambitions of Curriculum for Wales. Education and teaching professionals can access CWRE information and resources from the Education and teaching professionals webpage which includes the CWRE Toolkit, a Welsh Government commissioned resource to support schools with CWRE provision across the curriculum.

Brighter Futures is Careers Wales statement of collective ambition to deliver a brighter future for the people of Wales.