News - 26 July 2022

Businesses shares success stories as they celebrate strategic partnerships with schools and colleges

The Managing Director of a Swadlincote firm has revealed how he is addressing the current recruitment crisis by working closely with a nearby school after signing up to take part in a local careers network.

Andy Neal, MD of IG Masonry Support, said that the company has now taken on three school-leavers from The Pingle Academy, who have been given a variety of roles across the firm, through his work as an enterprise adviser with the D2N2 Careers Hub in the Derbyshire South area.

Celebrating the role of the Enterprise Advisors

Mr Neal was speaking at an event held to celebrate the work of D2N2 Careers Hub enterprise advisers, who are experienced professionals from companies and who work closely with career leaders and senior leadership teams in schools and colleges across Derby and South Derbyshire.

The work is taking place as part of a national programme being run by the Careers & Enterprise Company funded by the Department for Education and led locally by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Representatives of 21 companies of all sizes shared best practice and experiences of being an enterprise adviser at the event, which was held at the Farmhouse, in Ashbourne Road, Mackworth where they were joined by representatives of local cornerstone employer partners such as Rolls-Royce, Alstom and Lubrizol.

Mr Neal has been a D2N2 enterprise adviser working with the Pingle Academy for more than two years and said he saw the positive benefits that it brings to both his company and the young people themselves.

He said: “Being an enterprise adviser has opened my eyes to the opportunities that exist for firms through working with their local schools and helped us to explain the wide variety of roles that we offer across the company, including HR and finance, as well as the manufacturing side of what we do.

“We have struggled to recruit talented young people in the past, but within days of a school visit, I received three emails from students asking about employment.

“There is a shortfall of engineers in the UK, especially locally, so having these links is great for us, while our staff are getting a lot of enjoyment out of working with the Pingle Academy – especially those members of staff who used to go there.”

The event also heard from Seleena Creedon, owner of Derby-based Credo Marketing, who spoke about her own work with students at St Andrew’s School, a special school in Chaddesden, and what she has learned about preparing young people with learning and physical barriers for their best next step.

Will Morlidge, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Today’s event has been a long time coming but it has been extremely heartening to know how the companies involved have enjoyed their participation and the benefits that it’s brought for everybody.

“In an ideal world, schools and local employers would be working closely together to ensure that students have a defined pathway from the classroom to the shopfloor or boardroom and are given the skills they need to make that transition smoothly.

“We’re not in that situation yet but these careers hubs are an excellent start and we’re extremely grateful to everybody who has given up their time to get them off the ground and achieving the kind of results we have heard about today.”

The D2N2 Careers Hub is one of the largest career hubs across England, locally covering 151 schools and colleges in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, with more than 150 Enterprise Advisers.

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