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My name is Colin Ransom. 

I am an Enterprise Adviser at White Bridge College – a Pupil Referral Unit School in Manchester.

Before I retired, I was the owner of an executive search company in the printing and packaging sector.

As an Enterprise Adviser, I work alongside the local Enterprise Coordinator Sophie and the head teacher Michael, to help the school introduce its students to great experiences of industry and the workplace.

My background is business, not education but I have realised that I can make an important contribution the development of the school’s careers plan. 

BUSINESS LEADING BY EXAMPLE

My role involves reaching out to my contacts in the local business community to connect young people with meaningful work experiences.

This provides the opportunity to help students show off their potential.

One of the businesses I work with is National Tyres. 

They work with our students – from different backgrounds. This includes communication and networking and skills to build confidence in a professional setting.

National Tyres frequently visit the school to mentor, do assemblies, and to provide work placements. As part of this process, they give students feedback that they can take away and reflect on.

They’re a great example of a local business contributing to social mobility.

This is because they have instilled confidence in young people while preparing them for the world of work.

Some of our students are now applying for apprenticeship with National Tyres.  

BUILDING A SUPPORT SYSTEM

Over 18 months ago, careers provision at White Bridge was at ground zero – but with the right attitude, everything has changed.

I have a great working relationship with the teaching staff – particularly Michael Wain – the Head of College.

We have an open and honest dialogue about the sorts of skills employers’ value.  It is a great environment for the worlds of education and business to understand each other’s needs.

I attend staff training – and I often speak about how we can work together to better utilise our contacts. There’s an awareness from many of the staff that this is an important subject – far more important than it was once perceived.

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