People & Skills Projects - 28 January 2016

£300,000 employability initiative needs business volunteer champions

Business leaders, employers and the self-employed are needed as volunteers to build stronger links between schools and companies, to help young people realise their career potential.

The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) – a private-sector led partnership promoting economic growth and jobs creation across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – and The Careers & Enterprise Company, the Government-backed body set-up to get UK employers and schools working more closely together, are jointly investing £300,000 in the LEP’s D2N2 Employability Framework and the Enterprise Adviser network.

D2N2’s Employability Framework aims to strengthen links between businesses and schools in its area, to address the mismatch between skills and training taught to young people in schools and post-16 education centres, and those needed by companies to fill the ‘skills gaps’ in their workforces.

One way it is doing this is by working with The Careers & Enterprise Company, to establish an Enterprise Adviser network for the D2N2 area. Up to 80 businesspeople are being sought to act as volunteer Enterprise Advisers. Each will work with a school or college; giving its senior staff an insight into business needs, talking to and motivating students about their future careers, and creating opportunities for other business leaders to get involved.

For its Enterprise Advisers, the D2N2 LEP wants to attract volunteer employers from small and large companies, as well as the self-employed, from a range of commercial sectors. It is particularly interested in people working in D2N2’s eight key sectors of construction, creative and digital, transport and logistics, transport equipment manufacturing, life sciences, the visitor economy (tourism), food and drink manufacturing, and low carbon technologies.

Applicants must have a genuine interest in helping young people develop their careers and also be:

  • Challenging – Supportive and ambitious for their nominated school or college, and the impact of the wider Enterprise Adviser network.
  • Charismatic – Personable and engaging when talking to staff and students.
  • Connected – A good networker with effective links, which they are willing to use to further their work with the school or college.
  • Considered – Can adopt a strategic and analytical approach.
  • Credible – When talking to business or education organisations.
  • Dedicated – Willing to give time and energy to the Enterprise Adviser network.
  • Inspiring – Engaging, energetic and positive.

Enterprise Advisers will work with a nominated school or college and with their Enterprise Co-ordinator, of which there will be seven employed across the D2N2 area. All D2N2 Enterprise Advisors will be Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked. For more information about the Enterprise Adviser role see web link

www.d2n2lep.org/skills/d2n2-enterprise-adviser-network

Ian Greenaway, D2N2 LEP Employability Champion and Board Member for the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, said: “The success of our D2N2 Employability Framework will rely heavily on the support and experience of high calibre business people, who are willing to invest their time and effort in acting as volunteer Enterprise Advisers, to work with schools and colleges.

“I’d urge any business person with an interest in our young people’s career prospects, who believes they have something to offer, to contact us.”

People interested in becoming an Enterprise Adviser can register their interest via an online form on the web page at www.d2n2lep.org/skills/d2n2-enterprise-adviser-network; or contact Katrina Woodward, D2N2 Commissioning Manager for Skills and Employability, on 0115 957 8753 or email: Katrina.Woodward@d2n2lep.org

The Employability Framework aims to see every secondary school and college in the D2N2 area, and at least 20% of specialist schools, having:

  • a designated employer linked to their organisation;
  • an Enterprise, Careers and Employability Strategy;
  • undertaken a self-assessment, to produce an action plan in response to the Enterprise, Careers and Employability Strategy;
  • access to providers delivering enterprise, careers and employability activities who have been quality assured against the D2N2 Employability Framework;
  • access to a range of funding to support their school strategies.

The work of the Enterprise Co-ordinators and the Enterprise Adviser network, and projects undertaken to support schools and employers, will be overseen by the D2N2 Skills and Employment Commission, to ensure they are having an impact on helping young people with their career ambitions.

D2N2 works extensively to promote skills and training across its area, including recognising the higher skills employers need in their workforces to help boost economic growth and jobs creation.

Other initiatives it has recently launched to create closer links between employers, and skills and training providers, include the Provider Charter (launched April 2015); which has the backing of those delivering courses and programmes for thousands of students across the D2N2 area.

For further details about the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s work to promote skills and training see website www.d2n2skills.co.uk

Partners in the D2N2 Enterprise Adviser network are the D2N2 LEP, the National Careers Service, the Evolve Trust, Placing Futures; and Derby City, Derbyshire County, Nottingham City, Nottinghamshire County and Rushcliffe Borough councils,

For further information about this news release contact D2N2 LEP Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email: sean.kirby@d2n2lep.org

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