Thursday, May 5, 2016

News: Rotherham leads the way with enterprise advisers

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Rotherham's education and business community has responded with enthusiasm to the new Sheffield City Region Enterprise Adviser Network programme.

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.

After being one of five pilot areas that helped to develop the scheme last year, the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (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.

Fourteen schools and colleges have now been matched through the programme in Rotherham, with more schools expressing an interest to join.

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 seen within several districts. For example, Rotherham schools have been fortunate enough to receive considerable support through the Rotherham Ready programme.

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Jackie Frost, enterprise project manager for Rotherham Borough Council, is helping to coordinate the programme in the town in partnership with Catherine Brentnall, enterprise coordinator for Rotherham.

Jackie said: "The response has been brilliant. Schools have been keen to come on board, they really see how having an Enterprise Adviser from the world of work and business can help them make more links which will benefit students. And business people and employers have welcomed a way to get more involved in education too. They appreciate this is a way of building on good practice in schools and helping young people learn about the wide range of opportunities and careers available across Rotherham and the wider Sheffield city region.

Advisers recently attended their first business networking event which form an integral part of the programme. These will be offered at a national, regional and local level to those involved.

Jackie added: "Rotherham's Enterprise Advisers are at different stages, some have just been matched, some have met their school or college, and some are at the review and action planning stage. For those at the early stages of their journey, it is a chance to hear from those further along the process to learn about the reality of the role and how to help schools and colleges with the careers and enterprise agenda."

Rothbiz will be featuring the matches as the programme progresses. Rotherham's matches so far are:

- Abbey Special School and Wilmott Dixon
- Aston Academy and Blatchford
- Hilltop Special School and Mike Smith, Lieutenancy Officer for South Yorkshire
- Newman Special School and Patchwork Pig
- Oakwood School and The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust
- Rawmarsh School and the University of Sheffield
- Rotherham College and Airmaster Air Conditioning
- St Bernard's Catholic High School and Aardvark Swift
- St Pius School and Mears Group
- The Willows Special School and Sheila Quairney, Independent Social Enterprise and Education Consultant
- Thomas Rotherham College and ALcontrol Laboratories
- Wath Comprehensive and Capita
- Wickersley School and Sports College and Human Recruitment
- Winterhill School and MetaFortyTwo

Sheffield City Region Enterprise Adviser Network website

Images: Sheffield City Region Enterprise Adviser Network

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