Could you help our region’s schools to inspire the next generation of employees? Then the West of England’s Enterprise Adviser Network needs you – to help improve careers education and advice for young people.
The Enterprise Adviser Network, managed by the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, aims to ensure school leavers are ready for the world of work. There are currently around 30 Enterprise Advisers linked with schools across Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire but more are needed.
In a new series of video interviews, business people, entrepreneurs, and professionals from across the region have been sharing their stories about why they volunteer some of their time to help improve young people’s career opportunities.
Training is provided and it is a great way to give something back to the community while also supporting your own professional development and raising awareness of career opportunities with potential employees. Volunteering takes no more than six hours a month.
Regional Mayor Tim Bowles said: “It’s terrific to see how our volunteer Enterprise Advisers are also benefiting professionally from being part of the West of England Enterprise Adviser Network – as well as helping to improve careers education.
“Through working with our schools and colleges, Enterprise Advisers can make a big impact on young people’s lives. We are committed to giving young people every opportunity to secure employment, and our Enterprise Advisers are an important part of making this happen.”
Young people who have regular, meaningful contact with employers while at school are more likely to find employment or pursue further education or training, according to research.
Business leaders who are already part of the Enterprise Adviser Network say they find volunteering is hugely rewarding. They have shared their experiences in a series of video interviews.
Diversity of support for Cotham School in Bristol
Voluntary sector consultant Sibusiso Tshabalala joined the Enterprise Adviser Network to build the confidence of young people to take up science and technology subjects – improving their opportunities to gain access to future careers and reducing the skills gap in the local labour market. He said it has also been a great way to network and meet other industry leaders.
Sibusiso, the director for Cognitive Paths, said: “The schools definitely benefit from getting industry insight. What they get is diversity of thought, diversity of approach in terms of dealing with different businesses. When they engage with SMEs or someone from a different sector, they get a whole new variety of business people that can come and motivate young people. That’s really part of the benefits that we’re able to add on top of the great work that schools already do.”
The video testimonials from the Enterprise Advisers are available to watch on YouTube. They are also being shared across Twitter and LinkedIn with the hashtag #WestofEnglandEAN.