Key Milestone for Lancashire’s Enterprise Adviser Network

15 January 2018

Hundredth school twinned with local business volunteers to help bring careers advice and workplace insights into Lancashire’s classrooms

LEP’s skills and employment strategy set to boost employment prospects of young people across county 

An innovative county-wide careers advice programme, which matches Lancashire schools with volunteer Enterprise Advisers drawn from local businesses to help boost employment prospects for young people, reached a key milestone this week when Longridge High School in Preston was officially twinned with Motion Lab Marketing Ltd.

The event saw Longridge High School officially become the 100th school to join the Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network – an initiative which brings together employers, schools, colleges and careers programme providers to create meaningful encounters between young people and the world of work.  The network is part of a national Enterprise
Adviser Network, driven by the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Lancashire’s Enterprise Adviser Network focusses on giving young people multiple opportunities to experience and understand what training, work and career development is really like outside of the classroom. This helps them to explore their options, and build confidence about future decisions regarding employment.

It also helps boost their potential employability, with research indicating that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed, or not in education or training.

It has also been found that being exposed to real life employment scenarios before leaving school young people can earn up to 18% more during their career compared those who only experience standard classroom-based careers advice.

To celebrate Longridge High School becoming the 100th school to join the Enterprise Adviser Network, a special event was held at the school attended by Edwin Booth, Chair of the Lancashire LEP, and Clare Hutchinson, Area Manager North for the Careers and Enterprise Company.

Simon Iredale, CEO of Motion Lab Marketing Ltd, the school’s volunteer Enterprise Adviser was also present, as was Longridge High School Headteacher Jane Green.

Edwin Booth, Chair of the Lancashire LEP, said: “Reaching this significant milestone is a major achievement and demonstrates the LEP’s commitment to providing high quality careers advice and invaluable insights in to the world of work through the Lancashire Skills & Employment Hub.

“Exposing young people to real life employment scenarios and engaging with industry professionals has been proven to get students on the right career pathway and boost their employment prospects. This is great news for the Lancashire economy where we continue to create high value jobs but need a pipeline of skilled and motivated employees to take full advantage of the work opportunities on offer.

“This initiative also reflects how our skills and employment strategy has been successfully aligned to our wider strategic economic plan, and has been directly linked to priority sectors where we anticipate we will see substantial growth over the next five to ten years.”

Jane Green, Headteacher of Longridge High School, said: “Longridge High School is delighted to accept the exciting opportunity of becoming part of the Enterprise Network to further enhance and support our already outstanding careers provision for the students. The support which the network can provide, in enhancing our delivery of activities and the support of the employer network, is invaluable to us as a school. This adds significant value to our programme and further allows us to work towards the new careers strategy and the Gatsby Benchmarks.”

Simon Iredale, CEO from Motion Lab Marketing Ltd said: “In the world we live in today where technology runs at an incredible pace, skills in real world environments are essential. Enabling young people to realise the requirements necessary to forge a career in the modern world are key to their career development.
“Digital technologies are growing at an exponential rate and supplementation of students’ day to day learning can only help. Being invited to share my nearly 20 years of experience in digital will hopefully deliver much needed information that the students can use in their growing career.”

Mark Bowman, Chief Executive of Inspira, who are contracted by the Lancashire & Cumbria LEPs to deliver the networks in their respective areas, said
“The majority of Lancashire secondary schools, academies and colleges are now part of Lancashire’s growing network.  They are supported by over 120 local business leaders who are helping each one to develop a comprehensive and effective careers and enterprise strategy, as required by the Statutory Duty to provide Careers Guidance and Inspiration. By targeting business leaders from Lancashire’s priority sectors we can ensure that young people gain real life experiences of what it is like in the world of work, and the careers that will be available to them in the future. Inspira are delighted to be involved with such a great partnership”

Claudia Harris, CEO of the Careers and Enterprise Company, said: “We are delighted to celebrate this milestone for the Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network and Lancashire LEP. To sign-up 100 schools to the Network is a fantastic achievement. It means that the young people attending these schools will get the employer encounters they need to help make informed choices about the fast-changing world of work.

“It is inspiring to see schools like Longridge in Lancashire developing careers plans and partnering with local employers to create opportunities for their pupils and ensuring that careers provision is at the heart of a young person’s education.”

By partnering with local volunteer business leaders and their respective firms, participating schools in Lancashire’s Enterprise Adviser Network get access to a wealth of insights and ‘frontline’ evidence about what work is really like.

This is shared through talks in schools by visiting employers, regular school trips to workplaces, hosting of mock interviews and special careers advice days where employers take an active role in explaining and promoting different types of job roles and training options available. Some employers have also provided live digital broadcasts direct from their workplaces into Lancashire classrooms.

The Enterprise Adviser Network programme has also been specifically designed to fit with the Lancashire Skills Hub’s wider skills and employment strategic framework, which is itself aligned to the LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan for the county.

This means that a majority of schools have been matched with employers who are active within the LEP’s priority industrial sectors – including manufacturing, engineering, digital, construction and energy – and also with firms which reflect the wide range of different vocational pathways available to young people, such as apprenticeships.

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