News - 11 April 2016

Boost for D2N2 area students’ employability and career prospects

Young people will receive a boost to their employability skills and be helped onto a fulfilling career path through new funding across the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area.

Four projects across the area covered by the D2N2 LEP – the private sector led partnership of business, local authorities, skills and training providers, community and social groups, and others which promotes economic growth in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – will work with the LEP on helping students’ career prospects and schools.

The projects have received a total of £141,000 after successfully bidding for funding from the Careers and Enterprise Fund; administered through the Government–backed Careers and Enterprise Company, which works to build closer links between schools and employers.

The four projects are:

*ThinkForward and Rebalancing the Outer Estates – The ThinkForward progression coaching programme will be delivered in north Nottingham to equip young people identified as being most at risk of becoming NEETs (not in education, employment or training) with knowledge and work readiness skills, to successfully move from school into further education and employment. It will be run by ThinkForward in partnership with the Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation and will be working in four schools in the area.

*TwentyTwenty – The project will run 26 week courses, designed to help hard to reach 15 to 18-year-old NEETs develop work skills; in priority areas in Derby, and Leicester and Leicestershire. Students will undertake the courses in local Lifeskills centres where they will:

  • gain Level 1 and 2 qualifications in Maths and English;
  • learn work-ready skills needed by local employers through project work, responsibilities and at least 40 hours of work experience;
  • develop the ability to interact effectively with employers through a consistent cycle of employer engagement in lessons, talks, interview training and CV development; as well as attendance at business networking events.

*IntoUniversity Careers Programmes – This will develop students’ awareness of high quality careers through contact with employers; increasing their knowledge of the career paths and opportunities available to them through contact with employers on Business in FOCUS days, Careers in FOCUS programmes, the Corporate Mentoring scheme, and through internships and work experience. It is aimed at students in the D2N2 area and the Solent, Oxfordshire, Leeds City Region, Coast to Capital, the West of England and London areas.

*Founders4Schools – This nationwide scheme aims to provide teacher training workshops to teachers of Year 9 and 10 students in all schools across the LEP’s area; to help increase the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) graduates, to close the skills gap. Workshops will provide materials and deliver training to three teachers per school, on how to get local business leaders to visit the teacher’s classroom as role models to help bring subjects to life.

Ian Greenaway, Employability champion for D2N2’s Skills and Employment Commission, said: “It’s great news that D2N2 area schools will benefit from Careers and Enterprise Company support around careers, enterprise and employability.

“It means young people across the D2N2 area of Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire getting help on developing skills, gaining knowledge and becoming ‘work ready’ at the beginning of their careers. D2N2 and its stakeholders will work with the organisations offering employability training to schools, to provide a joined up solution.”

Mike Hughes, Executive Director at TwentyTwenty, added: “Too many 15 to 18-year-olds in the D2N2 area are struggling to thrive in mainstream education, feel stranded without the qualifications for college or the skills and experience employers require, and don’t know what to do next.

“Our motto is that all young people are resources to be developed not problems to be solved. So we’re really looking forward to working closely with the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, along with the Enterprise Adviser Network, to target support where it’s needed most and make a measurable difference.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We were delighted to award funding to ThinkForward, TwentyTwenty, IntoUniversity Careers, and Founders4Schools, as part of our Careers & Enterprise Investment Fund.”

She added: “We believe these outstanding programmes will use our funding to help ensure every young person across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire can transition successfully from education to work.”

The D2N2 LEP is already working with the Careers & Enterprise Company on a £300,000 Enterprise Adviser Network project, to match up to 80 schools across its area with a volunteer business advisor, to champion employability and careers at the school.

For more information about the Careers & Enterprise Company go to web link

To learn more about D2N2’s work on skills see its website at

For further information about this news release contact D2N2 LEP Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email:

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