Friday, February 12, 2016

News: Entrepreneurs going back to school

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A new campaign has been launched in the Sheffield City Region (SCR) to match employers with schools and colleges so that students benefit from stronger links to the world of work.

The Enterprise Advisers programme aims to bridge the gap between education and work, and promote the skills needed by the workforce of the future. 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.

SCR Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is part of the national programme, after being one of five pilot areas that helped to develop the scheme last year. The LEP wants to match a volunteer Enterprise Adviser from the business and public sector with every secondary and special school and college in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

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Enterprise Advisers will help schools and colleges to prepare young people for future jobs and careers, develop a whole school strategy for careers, enterprise and employer engagement and link them to local business contacts and networks.

The proposal builds on the considerable experience and success we have within several districts. For example, Rotherham schools have been fortunate enough to receive considerable support through the Rotherham Ready programme.

Nigel Brewster, vice chair of the LEP, said: "Enterprise Advisers will bring the currency of work to the classroom. They will raise discussions with school and college leaders on how employability skills are taught in schools and bring the wider world of work to life by establishing links with local employers through their network of contacts. Supporting education to prepare young people for future jobs is critical to the success of our regional economy so we see the Enterprise Adviser Network as a vital part of our plans going forward."

Enterprise Advisers have experience of employment or self-employment and come from a wide variety of sectors. They will be carefully matched to a school or college, providing support for a few hours a month for one year. They will receive support from Enterprise Coordinators who will help to ensure that Enterprise Advisers have the information and training they need to make their role a success.

Last month, the Rotherham branch of construction firm, Mears and faith school St Pius in Wath became the first to be officially "matched." Hilltop Special School in Rotherham, has been matched with Mike Smith, Managing Director of MJS Business Consultancy Ltd.

The scheme is supported by the national Careers and Enterprise Company, an organisation launched by the government to help schools link with more businesses. The advantages of becoming an Enterprise Adviser include being able to tackle skills shortages and build your future workforce, develop a strategic relationship with one school and help young people to reach their goals.

A series of Enterprise Adviser information events will be held during the next six months.

Sheffield City Region Enterprise Adviser Network website

Images: Sheffield City Region Enterprise Adviser Network

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