Building meaningful networks and partnerships with The Careers and Enterprise Company
For the past 12 months, Essex Work Skills has been heavily involved with the Careers & Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network and has been successfully building productive strategic partnerships between education leaders and volunteers from the business world from the length and breadth of Essex.
The Careers and Enterprise Company www.careersandenterprise.co.uk became fully operational in Spring 2015 under Nicky Morgan’s tenure as Minister of State for Education and its flagship Enterprise Adviser network (EAn) www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/enterprise-adviser-network has been devised in response to the extensive research funded by the Gatsby Foundation and undertaken by Sir John Holman.
Sir John’s worldwide research clearly demonstrated how meaningful encounters between students and employers/business owners could significantly improve the careers information, advice and guidance they received which, in turn, leads to raised aspirations among young people and ultimately to improved, more fulfilling working lives and higher income levels. Leading academics including Tristram Hooley and Anthony Mann have continued to conduct research and investigation over the past 2 years and their findings have added enormously to the evidence supporting the aims and objectives of the Careers and Enterprise Company.
(EWS Director Mark Sexton emphasises the importance of recent research data at a Careers and Enterprise Seminar held at the Wellcome Collection in London in March 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7OjVtcF2pQ)
The Enterprise Adviser network has been rolled out across England and is currently supported by 38 of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPS). The Greater Essex region consists of Essex, Southend and Thurrock and the county now has 6 funded Enterprise Coordinators in post whose primary focus is to build strategic alliances that:
- Support the development of whole school strategies for careers, enterprise and employer engagement
- Provide access to local business networks
- Helps schools and colleges to focus efforts on programmes and activities that are most effective in motivating young people, supporting independent choice and supporting positive outcomes for young people
In March 2016, and supported by funding from the South Essex Local Enterprise Partnership, Southend on Sea Borough Council contracted Essex Work Skills to build the Enterprise Adviser network throughout the town. Recognising the potential value of getting involved, the initiative was quickly embraced by the majority of secondary schools and colleges across Southend and by leading companies, local entrepreneurs and businesses who soon saw how the strategic nature of the EAn could provide a model that would help more local students to become more ‘work ready’. 80% of all schools/colleges were registered onto the programme during the life of EWS’s contract with SoSBC with more than 75% of those schools and colleges being matched with a volunteer from local business. The network is now being managed by SoSBC.
Essex Work Skills’ success in building the EAn in Southend resulted in the company being invited to support the growth of the EAn in Thurrock in 2017. The company has also brokered introductions that have led to the recruitment of Enterprise Advisers to support schools throughout Essex, Suffolk and London.
Essex Work Skills (www.essexworkskills.co.uk) helps to build sustainable and productive networks between schools, colleges and employers. Whether you are in education or business, please call Mark Sexton or Anne Page on 01376 313999 for more information about the Enterprise Adviser Network and other initiatives that ‘Prepare Young People for Work’.