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The world of work is changing. Small and medium size businesses account for the majority of employment opportunities in the UK. More people than ever run their own business. Industries are transforming and many companies that will become household names in 10 years’ time do not exist yet.

Against this background, The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), a national organisation backed by government and businesses was set up. The CEC contracts with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP’s) to manage the project locally, inspiring and motivating young people supporting them to make informed choices about their future training and career opportunities. In this area the York and North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP manage the project.

This is delivered using an Enterprise Adviser Network which is a national network connecting schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers to work together to create meaningful encounters with the world of work for young people.

The network is based on evidence that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training and can earn up to 18% more during their career.

At the moment only 40% of schools offer young people this kind of encounter, and unemployment among young people is three times higher than overall unemployment.

The focus is to address this gap by bringing together employers, schools and colleges, and careers programme providers.

How the network supports the school

Our Enterprise Coordinator from Sept 2023 is Emily Porter, who is responsible for the York and Harrogate areas of North Yorkshire.

Each school is supported by an Enterprise Adviser, a senior business leader in a volunteer capacity.  Our Enterprise Adviser for Boroughbridge High School is Lorraine Kirbitson.  Lorraine works for the North Yorkshire Construction Training Group.  Her role involves improving business and people development by accessing grants and training.  She regularly visits school and has been involved in our Speed Networking Events and delivering CPD to our staff.  We greatly value the support we receive from Lorraine.

The EA role includes:

  • Working with the careers leads to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work
  • Unlocking relationships with other local employers to take part in the schools careers activities
  • Providing the head teacher or careers team with strategic counsel to develop an effective careers strategy
  • Helping to ensure students understand the local labour market opportunities – jobs and training on their doorstep
  • Ensuring young people at school understand all the routes available to them to work from apprenticeships to university options

CEC ambitions for schools

  • More encounters: at least 4 employer and workplace encounters for young people.
  • Start younger: ensure careers education begins at year 7.
  • Follow the impact: incorporate the evidence of ‘what works’ to guide strategic careers planning in schools and colleges (mentoring, enterprise competitions and work-related learning).
  • Make it last: Embed in the curriculum and celebrate an ethos that places careers and enterprise opportunities at the heart of the school.

Further information about how the Careers and Enterprise Company work can be found on their website