The Careers & Enterprise Company

Agile project delivery and development support across a range of mission-critical digital tools


The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) was established in 2015 to help link schools and colleges to employers, in order to increase employer engagement for young people. The CEC has worked with Local Enterprise Partnerships to build a national network which links more than 3,000 schools and colleges to employers. CEC has also funded 150 programmes to provide high quality employer engagement activities to young people where they are most needed.

The CEC website contains an information portal and a set of digital tools which Schools and Colleges in the UK can use to assess and improve their careers provision. CEC also manages grants funding for frontline organisations in this area. CEC approached NLS to tender for the provision of interim agile project support while it worked to establish its own inhouse digital team.


NLS worked with CEC from June 2018 to March 2019 to provide digital development and support to the CEC and their partners for:

  • Ongoing development of the CEC’s existing digital tools, Compass and Tracker
  • A sophisticated Provider Directory to register, list, sort and filter external suppliers and related services
  • Updates and improvements to the CEC’s public facing website
  • A Welsh version of the Compass tool
  • Integration with third party providers of information and services, such as, using OAuth for shared authentication, and a Restful API for information sharing
  • Ongoing development and collaboration with other software teams, developing a Careers Leaders System that will ultimately integrate with Schools’ own information systems.

All work on developing these digital tools has to focus on achieving the CEC’s strategic priorities, which in turn are led by the Government’s Careers Strategy (2017). NLS worked the CEC to run projects and the delivery of new functionality and content through agile methods, based on a combination of Sprint and Kanban.

  • 2-week Sprints were used to define and deliver large project-based advances in functionality and scope of the portal
  • A Kanban board in JIRA was used to deal with expedite items, provide quality assurance, and manage the integration process from development to production servers.


NLS worked with the CEC to develop new functionality and tools, operating on an AGILE team basis. We provided a range of support and development functions while the CEC built their own internal digital team to take over the projects.


Since launch usage of the portal and digital tools has been growing steadily, and the Compass and Tracker tools are now used by over 3000 UK secondary schools and colleges.

  • Enterprise Advisors report an 80% satisfaction rate when using the tools
  • Anticipated use of the website is set to grow exponentially when the Careers Leaders system is launched and the portal integrates with Schools MIS systems and student-level date is added to the data model.

The success and effectiveness of the portal is also measured by the outcomes in secondary schools’ careers provisioning throughout the CEC’s network.