More than 100 schools across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have now been matched with volunteer business advisors – working with educators to expand pupils’ career horizons – as part of a project jointly managed and funded by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
The latest figures on the continuing expansion of D2N2’s Enterprise Advisor Network comes as the UK this week (W/C Monday March 4) marks both National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week; promoting good careers guidance in schools, and vocational apprenticeships training, to put young people on the path to successful careers.
D2N2 is the private sector-led Partnership of business, local authority, skills and training, and community and voluntary services representatives which promotes economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
It works to develop skills and training widely across its area to help young people (and adults) into sustainable, long-term jobs. This ensures that employers have staff with the right skills, to help their individual businesses and the wider LEP area economy to grow.
As part of its People & Skills Strategy, D2N2 and the Government-backed Careers & Enterprise Company fund and run the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN).
Across the LEP’s area, ten Enterprise Coordinators aid a growing network of over 90 Enterprise Advisers – volunteers from the business community – in their support of over 100 schools with careers advice strategies; to widen pupils’ experience of and attitudes to the world of work.
Graeme Smith, Principal at Derby Moor Academy and Sixth Form, said: “Having a dedicated Enterprise Adviser from the business community really helps shape our strategic thinking, with regards to developing a robust careers and employability programme that inspires young people about the world of work.
“The Enterprise Adviser also acts as a broker to their wider networks which enables young people to have multiple ‘meaningful employer encounters.”
In addition to its Enterprise Advisor Network, D2N2’s recent work to help schools develop their careers guidance for students has included:
- Co-creating nine videos (now available free on its YouTube channel here ) covering the main points of the Gatsby Career Benchmarks – an internationally recognised ‘gold standard’ approach to the best careers advice – as a free online resource for schools and colleges. The project was funded by the Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP), a collaboration of the two counties’ universities and colleges.
- Appointing Phil Crompton, former Chief Executive of the Nottinghamshire-based Trent Academies Group, as a ‘D2N2 Careers Ambassador’, for the 2018/19 academic year. Phil will be promoting the Enterprise Advisor Network to senior educators in schools in the LEP’s area.
The D2N2 LEP also provides grants (of up to £10,000), through its Careers Local programme (funded via the European Union-backed European Social Fund) for schools and colleges. Funding is used to run schemes focusing on 15 to 19-year olds, with greater educational needs, to help them develop employable skills and improve their career opportunities.
Lady Manners School in Bakewell, Derbyshire, is among those whose students have benefited from a Careers Local scheme, funded by grant monies coming via the D2N2 LEP. The school established its ‘Looking to the Future’ programme of activities, which included additional personal development activities and careers guidance for selected Year 11 (aged 15 to 16) students, and a school-wide Careers Fair with a major focus on career paths needing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.
Stephen Pacey, the school’s Careers Leader, said: “We’ve seen the additional support reap real benefits; inspiring students to think about different careers, and have more confidence in planning how to gain the necessary qualifications and experience needed to embark on them. It has provided us with evidence of what works and we will be using this knowledge to tailor future support for our students.
“We would have had difficulty providing these extra careers resources without the Careers Local funding. We are grateful for the highly professional support provided by the Derbyshire Youthinc. Creative Arts and Careers Teams.”
Rachel Quinn – Careers, Employability & Inclusion Manager for the D2N2 LEP – added: “Skills development is a large part of our overall mission to support a more effective and functional local labour market, to meet an expanding LEP area economy’s needs. Young people need practical and personal skills to get on a sustainable career path, and businesses need to employ people with the right skills to grow; so it’s a win-win.
“Like national initiatives, such as Careers Week and Apprenticeship Week, D2N2’s Enterprise Advisor Network and other programmes are about getting businesses and schools to talk to each other more, and helping students be inspired by and better prepared for future careers.”
Schools and businesses wanting more information about the D2N2 LEP Enterprise Adviser Network, or to get involved, should go to web link www.d2n2skills.co.uk/d2n2-ean or contact Rachel Quinn – D2N2 LEP Careers, Employability & Inclusion Manager – on 0115 957 8757 ext. 2211 or email: Rachel.Quinn@d2n2lep.org
For more information on National Careers Week 2019, running March 4 to 9, see its website at https://nationalcareersweek.com/
Media wanting further information about the D2N2 LEP can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 957 8749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org