An initiative to ensure school students in the West of England get early and relevant careers advice and work experience has received a funding boost.
On a visit to Mangotsfield School on Friday 23rd June, West of England Mayor Tim Bowles, announced a new partnership with Future Quest, which will ensure local schools continue to benefit from the region’s Enterprise Adviser Network until 2019.
There are currently 30 Enterprise Advisors – trained volunteers from the local business community – working with headteachers and school leaders to help them deliver better careers support and work experience opportunities.
West of England Mayor, Tim Bowles, said: “There is clear evidence that if young people have several meaningful experiences of the world of work they are more likely to secure employment, and to earn more during their career.
“In the West of England we have many high quality jobs in areas such as aerospace, civil engineering, creative industries, professional services and global finance. It’s vital that we give locally-grown talent every opportunity to secure employment in these areas, and our Enterprise Advisers are an important part of making this happen.
“More and more schools are getting involved so we’d like to hear from professionals working in local industry who are interested in volunteering as Enterprise Advisors.”
Future Quest is a new programme led by University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), delivered by a consortium of local colleges, universities and other agencies working to support young people to take advantage of educational opportunities available to them.
UWE Bristol’s Future Quest programme manager Suzanne Carrie said: “We are delighted to be working with the West of England Combined Authority to align the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s National Collaborative Outreach Programme with local Careers and Enterprise Company initiatives.
“This adds enormous value to the Future Quest programme that aims to provide a range of opportunities to support local young people to fulfil their potential. Working strategically with schools to develop strong and effective links with enterprise and employers is an important part of this and we look forward to working with the Enterprise Adviser programme.”
Mangotsfield School was linked with local Finance Director and Enterprise Adviser Steve Morris in 2016. Together they have inspired teachers to integrate careers education into the curriculum; delivered their first careers fair, and identified the need to work more closely with disadvantaged pupils and parents.
Steve said: “As the Director of a small local company and father-of-three I became an enterprise adviser because I care about young people.
“I was interested in taking the opportunity to help a school take stock of its provision – with a parent’s perspective – to improve its Careers and Enterprise programme and increase employer engagement with its students. As an employer myself, I am conscious of the importance for young people of having direct involvement and contact with the world of work.”
Mangotsfield School Deputy Headteacher, Del Planter, said: “In a very short space of time, our Enterprise Adviser has brought expertise and external challenge to provide the best possible careers provision for all our students. We’re now able to provide a greater number of students with more meaningful experiences of employer engagement. In particular, we’ve begun working with students much earlier with more focus on career related learning in the classroom.”
The Enterprise Adviser Network is managed by The West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership. Business leaders are interested in getting involved are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org