HGS and the Careers & Enterprise Co.

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

Each school is supported by an Enterprise Adviser, a senior business leader in a volunteer capacity: Ian Rainbow is the Enterprise Advisor working with Harrogate Grammar School, Ian, a past pupil of the school went on to study Business Administration with German at Loughborough University and then spent several years in sales and buying roles for a major blue-chip company and a couple of smaller businesses. He then set up a consultancy business with a couple of colleagues which grew to a point where they had around 1200 clients and employed 50 staff. The decision was taken to sell the company in 2011, since when he has mainly been involved in voluntary work, including the Enterprise Adviser role at HGS and he occasionally assists small and micro- businesses with their planning and strategy.

Ian’s 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 www.careersandenterprisecompany.co.uk