I am the co-founder of a social enterprise called The Careers Research and Advisory Centre.
In 1963 it was still alright to use its acronym - CRAC! The expansion of the universities, heralded by the Robbins Report (1963), more than doubled the range of course options open to sixth formers and the government did nothing to bridge this important gap.
At the outset I went to see Michael Young who had set up the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) and he was hugely supportive. We created an educational charity and opened in early 1964. Our finances were fragile but we managed to generate a subscription revenue from the whole range of schools and in July 1964 ran our first bridge building conference in Kings College, Cambridge at which speakers included Sir John Fulton, Sir Peter Venerables, several head teachers and a captain of industry. This was really our launch.
What evolved was an organisation providing independent 100% accurate information on entry requirements and career patterns ensuing from particular school and university course choices. In parallel, by identifying schools who were providing state-of-the-art careers advisory services, starting with 13+ / 14+ decisions and running seminars for teachers to see how this could be done. Information sheets and later publications became indispensible and our publishing activities grew exponentially.
Other social enterprises were created in parallel, including the Institute for Manpower Studies and The National Institute of Careers Education and Counselling.
Our philosophy was true to the best social entrepreneurial rules, ie. that once new ideas and needs had been identified and a genuine market found for them their fulfilment could be handed over to an ongoing organisation or institution eg. a publishing house or university. In due course CRAC publishing services were contracted to Hobsons Publishing and the counselling development work of NICEC transferred to the then Hatfield Polytechnic.
The story of CRAC has recently been set out by Dan Smith in his 148-page book SOME SORT OF BRIDGE which is available from Granta Editions
I SBN 978-1-85757-102-8
Special price £20 including postage