The Careers & Enterprise Fund 2015

Launched in 2015, in its first round the Careers & Enterprise Fund invested £10 million in 35 proven careers and enterprise programmes — of which £5 million was contributed by other funders.

The Fund focused on supporting young people in areas of the greatest need. 

  • 75% invested in areas in most need of careers and enterprise support
  • Over 265,000 young people have benefitted from the fund over its first year
  • Over 20,000 employers have met young people through the projects we fund to date

Below are the grant recipients for the 2015 Fund, alongside the areas that they operate in and summaries of the programmes that they provide.

Organisation and project LEP area Summary
Ahead Partnership Ltd
Making the Grade Extension
Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Leeds City Region, Tees Valley “bringing together students and businesses to unlock potential in both”
This project will extend the proven Make the Grade school business partnership model across Birmingham, Tees Valley and districts of Leeds City Region. Building a dynamic network of employers and schools in each area, it will bring local partners together to deliver strategic, sustained and creative experiences between employers and schools to inspire students, better equip them for work and inform their decisions about the future.
Bridge to Work at Loughborough College
Bridge to Work
Leicester and Leicestershire "flexible job skills and coaching courses to help students kick-start their career”
Building on existing success and a proven track record, the project will increase encounters with employers for school pupils and NEETS to raise employability skills, confidence in the job market and career aspirations with a view to support into employment. The project will raise awareness year 9 (12+) pupils to give tools for informed decision-making with GCSE options, creating workplace links between schools, colleges and employers.
Business in the Community & Career Ready
Employability for Everyone
New Anglia, South
“deliver employer visits & workshops to 3,300 students in Thurrock, Southend & Ipswich” 
The project will work with schools to provide students access to a minimum of two encounters with employers in one year, thereby increasing the likelihood of their attainment and aspirations being aligned with the labour market. The project will also increase the awareness of teachers, parents and students about progression pathways and local jobs enables smoother transitions to the labour market and potential impact on the numbers of NEETs.
EBP West Berkshire
Apprenticeship Insight and Employer Insight
Swindon and
Wiltshire, Thames
Valley Berkshire
"demonstrating the benefits of apprenticeships to young people and employers”
The project will drive greater employer awareness of the potential of apprenticeships in the Thames Valley. Experienced partners will reach out to young people who really need the opportunities; to ensure they understand the breadth of apprenticeships and career options available.
EDT (Engineering Development Trust)
Industrial Cadets
Black Country,
Coast to Capital,
Cumbria, Greater
Humber, Leicester
and Leicestershire,
Sheffield City
Region, South East,
Stoke-on-Trent and
Staffordshire, Tees
Valley, The Marches,
York and North
“Industrial Cadets raises awareness of and aspiration to local STEM jobs for young people”
Industrial Cadets (IC) operates through EDT, specialists in linking schools/students with employers to provide quality workplace experiences. IC is a work experience accreditation, raising young people’s awareness and aspirations of local jobs. It bridges this gap supporting employers to provide quality work experience governed by a competency framework, leading to effective apprenticeship pipelines.
Tomorrow's Engineers
Cheshire and
Warrington, Coast
to Capital, Cumbria,
Greater Manchester,
Humber, Lancashire
Liverpool City
Region, South East,
York and North
“Tomorrow’s Engineers helps young people understand the diverse careers available”
This project aims to ultimately double the number of young people choosing a STEM career by increasing the number of encounters a young person has with an employer through the expansion of the Tomorrow’s Engineers (TE) Programme. The TE programme brings a strategic approach to employer engagement, building bridges with an already committed part of the employer community and schools, allowing greater coordination of employer outreach to where the need and the impact are greatest.
Environmental Vision (trading as Envision)
Community Apprentice
Greater Birmingham
and Solihull
“The inter-school competition, Community-Apprentice, develops employability through community action”
Community-Apprentice is an enterprise competition, underpinned by a skills development and citizenship programme, proven in a rigorous randomised control trial to “develop some of the most critical skills for employability”. The project will engage schools and employers within the Birmingham and Solihull LEP.
WorldSkills UK
Championing the Way
Whole Country “WorldSKills UK Champions inform students about what’s needed to excel at work”
Every year, WorldSkills UK deliver Skills Competitions to thousands of young competitors as an opportunity to be recognised as the best in their vocational skill area. This project, led by WorldSkills UK working closely with local partnerships, will harness the experience and passion of these young people and use this to inspire and inform the next generation of young employees.
Raising Career Aspirations
Whole Country “Training teachers in LEPs and monitoring the increase in the number of STEM graduates”
This project aims to provide teacher training workshops to teachers of Year 9 and 10 students in secondary schools in the areas with the lowest number of STEM graduates. Workshops will provide materials and deliver training to 3 teachers per school on how to get local business leaders visit the teacher’s classroom as role models to help bring to life subjects.
Future First Alumni Ltd
Sustainable Alumni Communities
Cornwall and the
Isles of Scilly,
Heart of the South
“Develop alumni communities to inspire and motivate current students”
This project will enable Future First, in partnership with SSAT, to scale already proven, impactful programmes. They support schools to build their own alumni communities, which can be leveraged to provide students with meaningful employer encounters and workplace experiences. Because these employers and employees are former students of the same school, students can relate to them more easily and visualise their own career-path from the same starting point.
Global Generation
KX Express
London “Training and real-world encounters with employers in the King’s Cross estate”
This project aims to prepare young people for work through training & real-life encounters with employers and give young people insight into work opportunities & learn about different strands within businesses & what studies/training will help them get into jobs.
Greenpower Education Trust
Project Blyth
Humber “33 teams of students will design, build and race electric kit cars”
Project Blyth will set up 50 teams of students who will each work with local employers to design, build and race an electric racing car. After the first year, the kit cars can be dismantled and reassembled by the next year group. This multidisciplinary project, e.g. design, electrical, mechanical and IT, in addition to workplace skills e.g. teamwork, financing and project planning provides an invaluable experience for young participants.
IntoUniversity Careers Programmes
Coast to Capital
Derby, Derbyshire,
Nottingham and
Leeds City
Region, London,
Oxfordshire, Solent,
West of England
“developing students’ awareness of careers through contact with employers”
IntoUniversity’s careers programmes support students in accessing high quality careers. The aims of the project are to increase students’knowledge of the career paths and opportunities available to them through contact with employers on Business in FOCUS days, Careers in FOCUS programmes, the Corporate Mentoring scheme and/or through internships and work experience.
Outwood Grange Academies Trust (North region)
Future Generation
Tees Valley “Employability Centres foster employer engagement pledges and alumni involvement”
The project aim is to develop a strategic and coordinated approach to employer engagement activities within the schools of the OGAT North region. It will do so by establishing a visual presence of flexible pop-up “Employability Centres” in each of the Academies, with key activities overseen by an Employability Board consisting of broad partner representation with employer leadership.
Skills East Sussex (ESCC)
South East “Progress! makes young people aware of the world of work, improving work readiness and boosting apprenticeship uptake”
Progress! builds on local best practice, interlinking projects to reduce NEET numbers, increase take up of Apprenticeships, prepare young people for work, offer meaningful work experience initiatives & stimulate interest in post-16 STEM learning.
Solutions for the Planet
Solutions for the Planet
Black Country, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Leeds City Region, London, South East “Challenging pupils to find a business solution to sustainability issues”
Through delivery of our tried and tested STEM and Enterprise programme with Key Stage 3 students (aged 12-14) the project aims to achieve increased engagement amongst 12-14 year olds with employers: at least two quality engagements with an employer for each student, via mentoring; new sustainable relationships developed between schools and employers: 30 schools engaged and at least six companies.
St Helens Chamber
Your Future Careers Fairs
Coast to Capital, Cornwall and 
the Isles of Scilly, Cumbria, Dorset, Greater Cambridge & Greater, Peterborough, Humber, 
New Anglia, Northamptonshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire, Swindon and Wiltshire, 
The Marches, Worcestershire, York and North Yorkshire
"115 innovative and interactive careers fairs featuring hands-on opportunities” 
The project aims to deliver Careers Fairs across England, providing young people with ‘encounters’ and ‘information’, motivating, inspiring, and enabling them to engage more proactively with future careers guidance, resulting in better ‘buy in’ to their individual careers advice plan.
The Access Project
Increasing Access in the Black Country
Black Country "Connecting volunteer tutors with students from disadvantaged backgrounds to help them attend top universities”
The project will work with three of the most disadvantaged schools in one of the UK’s most disadvantaged areas: the Black Country. The aim is to give 120 students individualised support that will transform their career trajectories, with a focus on students eligible for free school meals. Specifically, it will address a vital regional issue: giving disadvantaged students a pathway to a top university.
The Challenge Network (known as The Challenge)
Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, London “HeadStart rewards young people with skills workshops and a job interview in return for volunteering”
HeadStart supports meaningful encounters between young people and employers by challenging young people to commit 16+ volunteering hours (providing first-hand work experience) in return for skills workshops and a guaranteed interview for a part-time job/paid internship with a leading employers.
The EBP 
Lumen: Lighting the journey to employment
Greater Lincolnshire “Lumen utilises employer connections to develop and prepare young people for work”
The project will contribute to developing a future workforce that is motivated to engage in the economy of the area in which they live. It will focus on important and growing sectors while raising awareness of all areas of potential employment and further/higher education. 
The Ideas Foundation
Creative Ladders
Black Country, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Greater Cambridge & Greater Peterborough, Greater Lincolnshire, Greater Manchester, Heart of the South West, Lancashire, Liverpool City Region, London, New Anglia, South East, Tees Valley “Creative Ladders provides inspiring encounters with ad and design agencies”
The Ideas Foundation charity operates I Am Creative (IAC), an inspirational employer-led programme that improves social mobility for students from schools with high FSM, low employer engagement and high ethnic diversity. Creatively talented students progress onto The Ladder - an intensive package of employer led mentoring, workshops and inspirational workplace experiences, designed to develop young people’s careers. The Ladder also provides a community network where talented young people support each other on their career journeys.
The Key (Keyfund Federation Limited)
The Key to Expanding Business Class
North Eastern, Tees Valley “Merging two successful programmes to fill gaps in career and employment provision”
The Key and Business in The Community (BITC) will work in partnership to increase the impact of their proven programmes in the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas. We will “build on what works”, to scale-up the number of young people who benefit.
This partnership will combine the existing expertise, networks and impressive track records of both The Key and BITC to support pupils from secondary schools to participate in The Key and Business Class Programmes; provide intensive and life-changing interventions for those pupils identified as the most disengaged and/or at risk of becoming NEET.
The Manufacturing Institute
Make It in Manufacturing
Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Liverpool City Region “Teams of teenagers compete in exciting and informative school-based manufacturing challenges”
Make It challenges take children into manufacturing sites to address real challenges. These range from making an unmanned rescue vehicle, designing and building a scale model of a nuclear power station, through to creating a new cake or dessert for a food manufacturer. Each challenge sees circa 100 students (aged 12-15) from 12 schools forming their own companies and taking on one of a number of job roles from managing director, finance director, sales and marketing manager through to manufacturing manager, design engineer, logistics manager and quality controller.
The Springboard Charity
Hospitality Careers and Education Programme
York and North Yorkshire “Showcase the careers available in hospitality, leisure and tourism”
Springboard will deliver an innovative and comprehensive Hospitality Careers and Education Programme, building on existing provision and developing brand new activity, to inspire and educate school pupils (aged 12-18) through careers guidance, CV-building, work experience, interview preparation and application support within the world of the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry  Linked directly into the school curriculum, it will enable social mobility by helping to “open pupil’s eyes to careers they may not have considered”.
Tower Hamlets Summer University, Trading as Futureversity
Vacation Education 2016
London “Raising aspirations and developing key capabilities in young people through holiday courses and volunteer schemes”
Young people spend 25% of their time outside of school, our programme engages them during this “downtime” to include multiple interactions with employers, maximising exposure to the workplace.
Vacation Education targets young people 13-16 years old, eligible for free school meals aiming to increase their social mobility, tackle education inequality and their broaden horizons.
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, Leicester and Leicestershire “26 week courses designed to help hard-to reach 15-18 year-old NEETs develop work skills”
The project will recruit and engage hard to reach NEET young people aged 15 to 18 from priority areas in Leicester, Leicestershire and Derby. These student will undertake a 26 week course in one of our local Lifeskills centres where they will gain Level1/2 qualifications in Maths/English; learn workready skills required by local employers through project work, responsibilities and at least 40 hours of work experience; develop the ability to interact effectively with employers through 
a consistent cycle of employer engagement in lessons/talks/interview training/cv development in our centres as well as attendance in business networking events.
VIY (Volunteer It Yourself)
VIY Schools Programme
Greater Birmingham and Solihull, London “School leavers learn DIY and building skills whilst improving their community”
The project aims to enable/encourage school leavers aged 15/16 at risk of becoming NEET to think afresh about vocational building and construction trades as an attractive, rewarding and enterprising skills development and employment pathway; get hands on with learning and applying vocational trade skills on real jobs and work placements.
York Cares
Starting Blocks
Leeds City Region, York and North Yorkshire “Vulnerable young people sample work environments through visits, workshops & placements”
The project will expand provision of intervention work with some of the most vulnerable young people in York. Starting Blocks is a nationally acclaimed programme delivered by York Cares, providing supported work experience opportunities for young care leavers. This offer will be extended to looked-after young people, to enable earlier interventions. 
Your Life
Best School Trip Ever!
Black Country, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, London, North Eastern, Tees Valley “Memorable workplace visits revealing first-hand the amazing careers available through studying STEM”
The Best School Trip programme, created and delivered by the Your Life campaign, supports employers across the UK to open up their workplaces to 13-16 year old students and their teachers, offering a memorable experience and insight into their business and people. The overall aim of the programme is to drive uptake of Maths and Physics at A Level by showing young people the dynamic career opportunities unlocked by studying these subjects. 
Cogent Skills
Futures in Science
Cheshire, Warrington and Lancashire “Futures in Science inspires young people to pursue science careers using Industry Ambassadors and bespoke resources”
Career Connect
Reach for the Future
Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region “Career advice and work inspiration for young people in hard-to-reach schools”
I AM is a transformational project that will  create an Entitlement – agreed between young people, employers and schools - so that as a young person I AM:
  • INSPIRED by exploring the exciting job opportunities, especially in the STEM and Growth Sectors
  • ASPIRING to a career - through working with employers in my school and understanding the links between school work and the job I want –helping me make the right Options choices
  • MOTIVATED to work hard and take the next steps in my career path now that I’ve had ‘hands-on’ experiences of the world of work
Rebalancing the Outer Estates Foundation
Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire “Work readiness coaching for disengaged young people”
Rebalancing the Outer Estates is partnering with ThinkForward, to launch their coaching programme in Nottingham North. It will equip young people identified as being most at risk of becoming NEET with knowledge and work readiness skills to successfully transition from school into further education and employment.
The Federation of Groundwork Trusts (‘Groundwork UK’)
Enterprise Camp
Lancashire, Sheffield City Region, Tees Valley “Groundwork – Enterprise Camp for unemployed young people, developing skills and engaging employers”
Enterprise Camp will deliver transformative experiences and tailored careers interventions to 300 NEET young people (16-18 years), through a new approach to careers activity designed to support and inspire those not engaging with mainstream careers services.