Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has outlined the important role the Civil Service can play in inspiring and preparing young people for the world of work.
Sir Jeremy, the most senior civil servant in the country, praised the role the government-backed Careers and Enterprise Company plays in joining employers and education to support students in today’s fast changing jobs market. He cited employer encounters with pupils as key for helping young people fulfil their potential.
Civil servants can sign up to the Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network and join more than 1,400 senior business volunteers from all parts of the public and private sector who work with schools across the country to strengthen their connections with local employers.
Sir Jeremy said: “The future of the Civil Service depends on harnessing the talent and leadership we have to help young people develop their career aspirations and transition from education into work.
“It was great to hear about the work the Careers & Enterprise Company do with schools and employers to create opportunities for young people.”
Sir Jeremy’s comments were made following a visit by pupils from Jo Richardson Community School in Dagenham to his office in Whitehall, organised by the Company during National Careers Week and National Apprenticeship Week. The pupils were given a unique insight by Sir Jeremy and his senior colleagues into the many and varied career paths in the civil service.
Billy Simson, a pupil at Jo Richardson Community School, said: “Visiting the Cabinet Office and meeting Sir Jeremy Heywood has been an amazing opportunity and an eye-opening experience. I had considered a career in the Civil Service but after today, I now have a much better idea of what it would involve. Thank you for the opportunity.”
Ges Smith, the school’s Headteacher, said: “The opportunities and experiences offered to our students through our involvement with the Enterprise Adviser Network have proven to be absolutely invaluable.
“We have a commitment to offering all our students the widest possible range of learning and development experiences outside the classroom.
“The visit to the Cabinet Office allowed a group of young people not only to experience the excitement of such a high profile event, but also to feel that their voice is being heard in relation to many of the issues that are both important to them and which affect them directly. “We are extremely grateful for this opportunity and I would like to thank everybody involved in setting up the day for our students.”
The Careers & Enterprise Company works in partnership with Team London to deliver its Enterprise Adviser network in the capital.
Omy Lawal, a legal support professional with Sodexo and an Enterprise Adviser with Jo Richardson Community School, said: “Moulding our future leaders is of great importance. What better way to do this than to work side by side with them to understand their way of thinking and help prepare them for the world of work so we can be assured that we are leaving the future to a well informed and ready generation.”
Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “It is inspiring to see the impact that this visit has had on the young people who spent the afternoon with Sir Jeremy Heywood. The evidence is clear - young people who have four or more encounters with the world of work are 86% less likely to be NEET than those that don’t.
“We now have more than 1,400 Enterprise Advisers - more than half of whom are at CEO or Chair level – and they do fantastic work with school and college leaders across the country to connect pupils with local employers.
“I look forward to working with more civil servants and public officials across the country to bridge the gap between education and employment and help give young people a clear set of career goals to achieve.”