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Six local employers have signed up to help young people in East Sussex prepare for the fast changing world of work.

The businesses have partnered with The Careers & Enterprise Company to become a ‘Cornerstone Employer’ in the East Sussex Careers Hub. They will invest time and resources to support local schools and colleges with their careers education and with inspiring young people.

On 15 March, senior representatives from AXA, Metaltech Precision Engineering Ltd, Lewes Community Screen (Depot), Health Education England, De La Warr Pavilion and G M Monk Ltd all met at De La Warr Pavilion’s headquarters for a roundtable to discuss the plans.

Young people who have regular, meaningful interactions with employers while at school are less likely to be NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) when they leave school.

The employers will work closely with The Careers & Enterprise Company, East Sussex County Council, the South East LEP and the East Sussex Enterprise Adviser Network - a network of volunteers from the world of business who are each matched to a local school to support their careers activity.   

Together they will ensure that all young people across the region have access to regular, meaningful engagement with employers and gain the vital experiences of the workplace they need to help them make informed choices about their futures.

Cornerstone Employers act as champions to encourage new businesses in the area to get involved in supporting schools and colleges, as well as encouraging their own staff to become volunteer ‘Enterprise Advisers’.

Claudia Harris, CEO at The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“We are delighted to have these employers committing to helping schools and colleges in East Sussex. All young people deserve great careers education, to inspire them, support their aspirations and prepare them for the fast-changing world of work.

“Employers need to be at heart of that, so young people can learn firsthand about the careers and industries that are open to them. We are very grateful to all the employers for their ongoing support and commitment to helping the young people in the area prepare for their future careers.”

Catherine Brunger, CSR & Education Manager at AXA, said:

“We are proud to become a Cornerstone Employer and recognise that we have an important part to play in inspiring young people in our community. It is vital that business and education work closely together to prepare students for the world of work, raise aspirations and show them that anything is possible.”

Ashley McCormick, Head of Learning and Participation at De La Warr Pavilion, said:

“As a lead partner in the Bexhill Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair (5 April), involvement in the Open Doors programme, combined with our regular student work experience provision, Young Creatives volunteering programme, participation in schools’ careers fairs and Creative Cafes across Hastings and Rother demonstrate our commitment to furthering learning and skills development with young people across the region. We are delighted to join up with other businesses to share knowledge and support local schools and colleges.”

Scott Monk, Managing Director at G M Monk Ltd, said:

“Apprenticeships and training have always been a core element within our company and being able to take this knowledge and experience into schools and colleges is an excellent way to give more opportunities to students and help them to prepare for the working environment. The Enterprise Advisers scheme has enabled me to develop links and start up initiatives with Hailsham Community College and this has now led us to become a Cornerstone Employer. I very much look forward to strengthening the work the Enterprise Advisers have done and offer further support and guidance to continue to provide opportunities and inspiration to students across East Sussex.”

Mike Bailey, Senior Programme Manager, Career Progression at Health Education England said:

“Health Education England is committed to supporting young people to consider a career within health services with over 350 different roles available within the NHS. We welcome the opportunity to work with The Careers & Enterprise Company and other key employers across East Sussex to improve access to careers information and experiences for young people through this initiative.”

Carmen Slijpen, Director at Lewes Community Screen (Depot), said:

“Depot is pleased to participate as a Cornerstone Employer, supporting young people as they find out more about the world of work. As a leading independent Arts venue, we believe we have a wider social responsibility to our community. We look forward to offering valuable opportunities for students to gain exposure to working in our exciting industry.”

Alec Hill, Operations Director at Metaltech Precision Engineering Ltd, said:

“Metaltech over the last few years have become more involved with schools in highlighting career opportunities, particularly within engineering, by being present and interacting with students at careers fairs, enabling student visits to our facility in Hailsham and offering work experience programmes for students to dip their toes into a work environment.

“The results of such activities have not only raised student awareness of an engineering future but ultimately have produced positive results with several apprenticeships being offered to students.

“Metaltech are committed to continuing with this student programme, raising not only our profile within schools but hopefully hitting the light bulb switch within the next generation of engineers.”