Graphical version

London Metropolitan Archives



Reference code(s): GB 0074 LMA/4432

Held at: London Metropolitan Archives


Date(s): 1968-2002

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 6.72 linear metres

Name of creator(s): London South Bank Careers | careers advisers


Administrative/Biographical history:

The aims of London South Bank Careers (LSBC) were 'to increase the number of young people making successful transition to education, training and employment' by 'exploiting career opportunities offered by the regeneration of the South Bank area'. The service provided careers advice for an area with some of the greatest social and economic deprivation in the country. In 1997 the local unemployment rate was 50,000 people, accounting for 20% of unemployment in Greater London.

The service began as part of the Careers Service operated in all London boroughs by the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). The Central Services at 9 Carmelite Street managed Careers Services in ten ILEA divisional areas which were run by Divisional Officers. In April 1990, the ILEA was abolished and Local Education Authorities took over the responsibility of running the Careers Services. In May 1991 the Government released a White Paper "Education and Training in the 21st Century" which proposed legislation for putting Careers Services out to tender.

In 1992 a voluntary partnership named the South Thames Careers Service Partnership was developed between the South Thames Training and Enterprise Council (TEC) and the four borough services, Southwark, Greenwich, Lewisham and Lambeth. Its aim was to increase local employer organisations' involvement in how the career services were to run. In July 1993, the Trade Union and Employment Rights Act was passed, opening up a market in careers guidance by transferring the statutory duty to provide careers services from education authorities to the Secretary of State for Employment, who would be able to make arrangements with any agent to provide services in a specific area. The London area was put out for tender in 1994, and bids were submitted for April 1995 for the commencement of new services in April 1996.

In 1995, the Education Committees of the four boroughs and the Board of the South Thames TEC agreed to turn the voluntary partnership set up between them into a formal arrangement called South Thames Careers Limited which would provide a legal vehicle for them to run a bid to run services in south services in 'Area 5' south London. The LSBC was formed in 1996 as a result of the outsourcing of the careers services for the four boroughs. The in-house bid, made by the four local authorities and large local businesses including the Woolwich Building Society and Sainsburys, and supported by the Central London Training and Enterprise Council (CENTEC) and the South London Training and Enterprise Council (SOLOTEC), was not the first choice and it was only when the appointed supplier, Grand Met Trust, pulled out that the in-house team were awarded a four and a half year contract with the Government Office for London (GOL) and under annual contract with the Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) from 1 October 1996. As a result the initial operation began quickly without a lengthy planning period. The first 18 months saw the relocation and refurbishment of premises:

* Head Quarters: moved from Sumner House, Peckham, to Third Floor, Romer House, 132 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, above the Lewisham Centre.
* Greenwich Careers Centre: moved from Riverside House, Borough Education Department to high street accommodation above Somerfields supermarket, Woolwich.
* Lambeth Careers Centre: remained at Acre Lane, Brixton as part of the Lambeth Directions 'one-stop-shop' established as part of the Brixton College initiatives.
* Lewisham Careers Centre: moved from 39 Lewis Grove to Romer House, 132 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham.
* Southwark Careers Centre: moved from Sumner House, Peckham to old job centre shop front premises in Rye Lane, Peckham.

The service was an independent 'not for profit' company with a Board of Directors consisting of four local authority representatives from Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, two representatives of the Training and Enterprise Councils, and four employer representatives. The Board chair was the executive of the Woolwich Building Society. An Advisory Network was formed representing stakeholders and community interests to inform the work of the Board.

The company was one of nine Careers Services Companies (CSCs) operating in London from 1996, selected via the competitive tendering process. The senior organisational structure consisted ofthe Chief Executive, and then three Executive Directors for Operations (Education and Customer Services), Corporate Services (Human Resources and Finance), and Development (Communications). In 1998 there were 101 staff.

In addition to the running of four careers centres, the service ran outreach support in other organisations' premises and local hostels. The company offered the following: free consultancy services to local schools and colleges which included individual careers guidance interviews, group sessions and support for careers education; advice and guidance for adults; community advocacy; mailshots and publicity; publications; training for teachers and lecturers; special events and programmes for young people; and work experience. The LSBC received funding from Europe, Single Regeneration Budget, New Deal, Learning Partnerships and Learning and Skills Councils and worked in close partnership with statutory and voluntary organisations.

In July 2001, LSBC merged with Prospects Career Services Limited and became part of the Prospects Group, which at the time ran Careers Services in Bexley and Wandsworth and was closely involved in the developing Phase One Connexions Services in the West Midlands (Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton) and North and South London (Enfield, Barnet, Haringey, and Bromley, Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Sutton). LSBC carried on delivering the Careers Service contract in its four boroughs until the end of March 2002, when Connexions was introduced to the London area.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of London South Bank Careers, 1968-2002. This collection contains the records of the Chief Executive and Executive Director of Education (Operations). It includes management minutes, policy and correspondence files relating to the provision of independent Careers Services for young people in the London Boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark, and the involvement of the LSBC in national developments in Careers Service provision. Correspondence also includes local projects including work on housing estates, with local schools, and 'Skills for the Millenium' which looked at the employment benefits brought to Greenwich by the Millenium Dome, and Government funded initiatives including the 'Learning Card' and projects such as 'New Deal' which sought to provide career 'Gateways' for disaffected young people.

The Chief Executive and Executive Director's correspondence also highlights the importance which partnerships with local schools, employers, local authorities, other Careers Services and Training and Enterprise Councils, had in supporting bids for funding projects and developing careers provision across the London area.

The collection includes publications and web site pages produced by the company showing the distinctive public image of the company, and the range of services which were available. The photographs cover career service company launch, outreach and party events

The collection also covers former Careers Services which included the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and South Thames Careers Limited, which operated in the four boroughs prior to the LSBC. The correspondence, photographs and publications detail their work and charts the establishment of LSBC through competitive bidding.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

The collection has been arranged into eight series: Minutes and related papers : LMA/4432/01 Business plans : LMA/4432/02 Chief Executive's policy and correspondence files : LMA/4432/03 Executive Director's policy and correspondence files : LMA/4432/04 Former Careers Service files : LMA/4432/05 Publications : LMA/4432/06 Photographs : LMA/4432/07 Web site printout : LMA/4432/08.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to these records rests with the Corporation of London.

Physical characteristics:


Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:

The collection was initially sorted by LSBC staff in 2001 who retained all financial files kept by the Corporate Services Department and files relevant to the merger with Prospects Careers Services. When the collection was archived in October 2002, 25% of material, including duplicates and material sent from other organisations, was not considered worthy of long-term preservation and has therefore been destroyed. The Web site print-out (LMA/4432/07) was not part of the main accession and was included when the collection was archived.

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Donated to the Archive in 2002 and 2003.


Related material:

See also Post-Schools Department: Careers Service branch, Inner London Education Authority ILEA/PS/CS and ILEA/PS/CE

DESCRIPTION NOTES Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: July to October 2009

Careers advice | Career development
Corporate minutes | Business records | Documents | Information sources
Disadvantaged youth | Disadvantaged groups
Employment opportunities | Employment
Publications | Communications media | Information sciences
Unemployed youth | Unemployed | Disadvantaged groups
Vocational guidance | Educational guidance

Personal names

Corporate names
London South Bank Careers | careers advisers