Friday, January 15, 2016

News: Enterprise advisers linking Rotherham schools with business

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Rotherham's Mears branch and faith school St Pius in Wath are the first to be officially "matched" in an exciting programme to help businesses and school work together.

Morrison Facilities Services, the company that maintains council properties in Rotherham, was acquired in 2012 by Mears, the UK's leading provider of social housing repairs and maintenance services. The company began a £60.5m contract to maintain council properties in Rotherham in 2010 to repair and maintain 13,000 properties in Rotherham North, Rotherham South and Wentworth North.

The national Enterprise Advisers programme, sees volunteers from the world of work and business team up with schools to increase the quality and quantity of careers and enterprise learning for young people.

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The Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) was one of five regions nationally which took part in a pilot phase of the programme last year. Six schools in Rotherham took part, taking time to review their careers and enterprise learning and increasing the number of employer encounters that young people experienced.

The pilot was a huge success and the scheme is being rolled out nationally with support from the national Careers and Enterprise Company, an organisation launched by the government to help schools link with more businesses.

The Enterprise Advisers programme will link schools with a credible and well connected professional or business person who helps increase the quality and quantity of careers and enterprise learning.

Andrew Chambers, general manager at Mears (pictured, centre), said: "We are very proud to be supporting this important programme. Helping broaden young people's horizons and improve their skills and aspirations is crucial for them personally, and for the future of Rotherham. We would urge other businesses and schools to get involved."

Joanne Burke, enterprise coordinator at St Pius (pictured, left), added: "Careers and enterprise learning helps motivate young people with learning because they start to imagine where school and qualifications can take them, and this impacts on their attitudes towards education."

All secondary schools, special schools and colleges in Rotherham and the Sheffield City Region have been invited to join the programme, and business people and professionals are being simultaneously recruited to form the Enterprise Advisers Network.

Jackie Frost is enterprise projects manager at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and is helping manage the programme for the town. She said: "It is fantastic that Mears are giving their time to build a partnership with St Pius to benefit the schools and pupils, and to build better links between education and the world of work. We would love to hear from other business people who are interested in giving some time, either as an Enterprise Adviser, or as someone who might visit schools to give talks in assemblies, tutor time or to work on curriculum projects."

Sheffield City Region Enterprise Adviser Network website

Images: Enterprise Adviser Network

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