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Half of all schools and colleges in England will be supported by an Enterprise Adviser by the end the year, the Careers & Enterprise Company announced today.

A third of schools and colleges in the country are currently matched with an Enterprise Adviser – senior business volunteers connecting more than 1,300 schools and colleges with other local businesses to help them develop their careers and enterprise plans. Claudia Harris, the Company’s Chief Executive, said the company would work to rapidly scale up its nationwide network in 2017. She also pledged that the organisation would become the “Uber” of the careers sector by creating a digital system to underpin its Enterprise Adviser Network. This would link schools, colleges and employers to each another and to the best careers and enterprise providers.

Ms Harris was speaking at a House of Lords reception attended by more than 100 senior representatives from business, education, skills and the voluntary sector to mark the government-backed company’s achievements to date. They include:

• Supporting 250,000 young people through the Company’s first investment fund – 75% invested in cold spots – areas most in need of support
• Securing £10million in match funding to further support young people into the world of work
• Tripling the proportion of schools and colleges in its network who have employer engagement plans

Christine Hodgson, Chair of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “We are determined to build on this foundation. We are going to make sure that we really are making a positive impact - meaningful and extensive engagement with the world of work and the world of education to benefit young people. We are going to keep on working to extend our network and shine a light on the many great things that are already happening in this sector.”

Lord Young, Deputy Chair of the Careers & Enterprise Company, updated the plans to create a new ‘passport’ for young people which will enable them to promote their volunteering and other extra-curricular activity to potential employers. He said: “We’ve spent two years laying the foundation work for the passport and are now going to bring it into being. I’m delighted that we will set up a group, which I will chair, that will bring together education, employers and voluntary bodies to create a passport. We are aiming to pilot the passport by next September with a view to starting the year after.”

Skills and Apprenticeship Minister Robert Halfon said: “We have to meet the skills needs of the country. To achieve this, careers guidance must have a huge focus on encouraging people to do apprenticeships and skills-based training and telling people about brilliant further education opportunities. If we can get careers guidance right, we will get the jobs, the security and the prosperity that our country needs.”

The event also heard from two young people Yogdip Raghvani from World Skills and Jordan White from Young Enterprise, who shared their view on why inspiring experiences of the world of work are so important to gain a better idea of the modern careers landscape.

Other speakers included Jayne Cullen, Enterprise Adviser and Director at TMP Worldwide, Pippa Morgan, Head of Education and Skills at the CBI, Carl Ward, Executive Head Teacher of Haywood Academy and Vice President of ASCL and Steve Holliday, Deputy Chair of the Careers & Enterprise Company and former Chief Executive of National Grid plc.