14 Jan

Business volunteers needed to help rewrite the story of careers education in Leicestershire schools

Muslim business womanin meeting with colleagues

Local businesses are being asked to help “rewrite the story” for young people by putting their skills to use with a local school or college as an Enterprise Adviser.

More than ever, young people need all the support and inspiration they can get to help them succeed. With education disrupted and remote learning the new normal, it can be hard to see a clear pathway toward a future career.

That is why the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership is embarking on an ambitious campaign alongside the Careers and Enterprise Company to recruit over twenty new volunteer Enterprise Advisers (EAs).

Enterprise Advisers help open the eyes of students to the wealth of career possibilities available to them. Their real-world business insights are invaluable, and help to shape not just careers education, but entire lives.

The LLEP is looking for business professionals from all working backgrounds and industry sectors to volunteer as EAs. Enterprise Advisers are matched with a local secondary school or college’s leadership team, and work strategically to bridge the gap between the world of work and careers education.

Over seventy local businesses are already working with schools and colleges but the LLEP is committed to every school benefiting from having an EA working them in 2021.

The role of the EA can include engaging with local businesses and employers to put a wide variety of careers opportunities at the heart of education. Anyone interested can find out more information or register for an informal chat by visiting https://enterpriseadviser.careersandenterprise.co.uk/

EAs provide an employer’s perspective on industry, and help shape how a school or college embeds labour market information and opportunities into the careers programme. The Enterprise Adviser programme increases the amount of engagement young people have with industry and helps form long-term plans on raising students’ career aspirations.

Now more than ever young people need to hear from local businesses on the world of work. Becoming an EA is the perfect way to make a positive difference and give back to the local community. There are a huge number of benefits to becoming an EA, both personally and professionally. 

Paula Oldham, HR Manager for Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd and Enterprise Adviser for Rawlins Academy said:

“Working with Rawlins and the team has helped combine my passion for raising the aspirations of young people with my strategic skills and to help put opportunities with local employers at the heart of a young person’s education”.

Dan Lamoon, Managing Director at Colab Creation and EA for South Charnwood Highschool said about being an EA:

“You can make a direct difference to your local area, which ripples out beyond the school. The main driver is seeing students gain confidence, learn interpersonal skills and truly embrace the employability skills that will be with them for life.

“It’s a great network of like-minded people and organisations that genuinely want to make a difference. We have collaborated with a number of members on wider projects that has created huge value in helping to bridge the gap between education and business”

Paula Staley, Assistant Head Teacher and Careers Leader at Beaumont Leys School said:

“Having an Enterprise Adviser working with us has had huge benefits to the students. A great example is our Business Breakfast which brought our teaching staff together with local businesses in school for networking.

 “As a result of this we now have real local industry information being used in the classroom with students which can bring a lesson to life with modern examples. Without our EA we couldn’t have made this happen”.

Kevin Harris is Chair of the LLEP Board of Directors. He said:

“All our EAs have a full induction and are supported by a LLEP Enterprise Coordinator working alongside them and the school to deliver world class careers education.

“Many of our EAs haven’t been back to school since they left so we first help them to understand the education sector and the challenges faced. We are not expecting EAs to know all about school life, that is where we come in, but we do want schools to benefit from an EAs business skills and insight”.

 Aimee Higgins is Director of Employers and Partnerships for the Careers and Enterprise Company. She said:

“Enterprise Advisers enable crucial connections between young people and the world of work. The insight and guidance they provide to school leadership to develop strong career programmes for their students makes a real difference in the lives of young people.

“It helps schools and colleges to support young people in being able to see and understand job opportunities and what they need to do get there. It builds their confidence and capabilities and supports them in making the choices that are right for them as they prepare to make that next step beyond school or college. That support has never been more needed than now.”