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The Careers & Enterprise Company announces key initiative to roll-out from September

16 SEPTEMBER – LONDON – As the Autumn term gets underway, The Careers & Enterprise Company has announced the nationwide roll-out of a network of Enterprise Advisers, volunteers from the world of work who will work directly with school and college leaders to bridge the gap between the worlds of education and employment.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation that has been set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Its role is to take an umbrella view of the landscape of careers and enterprise, supporting programmes that work, filling gaps in provision and ensuring coverage across the country.

The company is committed to being evidence-based, building on ‘what works’, and taking a pragmatic view of regional variations in the careers, enterprise and employment landscape, adapting its approach as required. The Enterprise Adviser network is a key initiative, the first in a series to be announced by the company, and is based on research from the Education and Employers Taskforce and other research organisations that shows that greater contact with employers among young people leads to better employment outcomes.1

Enterprise Advisers will be volunteers from the world of work (businesses and the public sector, organisations of all sizes including the self-employed). Working directly with school and college leaders, they will be responsible for helping schools and colleges build careers and enterprise and employer engagement plans drawing on their own local business networks. They will be supported by full-time Coordinators who will have simple tools available to lay out the range of programmes available to schools and colleges nationally and locally, for example speakers in schools, CV and skill building, work experience. The Enterprise Adviser network will help ‘join the dots’ at a local level and increase coverage across the country.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company comments: "The world of work is changing fast and equipping young people requires ever closer engagement between employment and education. Young people need to be inspired, helped to better understand the relevance of their education, and supported in making independent and fact-based decisions about their futures. Direct exposure to employers and the self-employed is key. It supports learning by doing and experiencing."

"Our role is to shine a light on the many excellent schemes that exist today, fills gaps and improve coverage. The Enterprise Adviser network will allow us to do this, helping schools connect more smoothly to the many excellent employer engagement schemes that already exist, and increasing engagement where today it is limited. Success for us is that the best schemes are supported and enabled, It’s who you meet: why employer contacts at school make a difference to the 1 employment prospects of young adults, Education & Employment Taskforce and YouGov; 2012 school and college leaders find it easier to connect to the world of work, and young people across the country get access to these opportunities"

The Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Education, comments, "The nationwide roll-out of the Enterprise Adviser network is a significant milestone for The Careers and Enterprise Company, signalling its commitment – shared by this Government – to giving young people across the country a first-hand insight into the world of work."

"The company is a key component of the Government’s drive to expand opportunity to all young people, regardless of background or where they go to school, to shape their future, and I am extremely encouraged by this latest development in its work."

The roll out follows a set of successful pilots over the past year. Every Local Enterprise Partnership in the country has expressed interest in this network and The Careers & Enterprise Company is working with the Local Enterprise Partnerships to initiate a nationwide roll out. 28 areas will launch in September with a second wave starting before Christmas and a third in early 2016. The initiative is supported by employers and employer organisations from across the country. In a recent survey, 60 per cent of businesses told the Confederation of British Industry that school-leavers lacked the skills to succeed in the workplace.2

Today the Confederation of British Industry welcomed the initiative: Neil Carberry, Confederation of British Industry Director for Education and Skills, comments, "Businesses want to work with government and schools to deliver a step-change in careers support, which is not offering our young people enough help at the moment. Enterprise Advisers will be a big help towards that – helping business people share their insight and experience – so we look forward to working with the Careers & Enterprise Company to make these advisers a success, as part of their wider work in addressing the careers advice deficit in England’s schools."

The network will in particular make it easier for small business and the self-employed to connect to schools. Small and medium sized enterprises now account for the majority of employment in the UK.

The Rt Hon Lord Young of Graffham, comments, "Two out of three young people in school today will end up working for small businesses in this country. Enterprise Advisers will provide the motivation for young people to appreciate the relevance of school by bringing them closer to this new entrepreneurial employment landscape."

John Allan, National Chairman Federation of Small Businesses, comments, "Business engagement with young people has a positive influence on their employability and future success. It’s important our schools and colleges fully prepare young people of all backgrounds to make a successful transition from education to the world of work. This can only be done through engagement with employers and working with them to help young people to develop the real world skills employers need."

Leaders from the world of education welcome the initiative to simplify provision for schools and colleges and provide volunteers who can work directly with school and college leadership to build plans and engage local businesses.

Inspiring Growth: CBI/Pearson Education and Skills survey, July 2015 2

Brian Lightman, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders and member of The Careers & Enterprise Company board, comments, "In my experience as General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, I experience every day the passionate dedication of senior leadership in schools across the country to equip young people with the skills they need to succeed in the world of work. The Enterprise Adviser network will act as a catalyst for this process, providing invaluable connections and guidance for schools to maximise the impact of their existing initiatives."

Lucy Heller, Chief Executive, Ark, comments, "This is one of the highest priority areas for Ark and we are delighted to collaborate with the Careers & Enterprise Company in this important work."

Martin Doel, Chief Executive at the Association of Colleges (AoC), comments, "Enterprise Advisers should introduce young people to employers from the working world which will help them make some of the most important decisions of their life in choosing a future career path."

"Colleges have long recognised the critical nature of good careers education and will be keen to continue to work together with employers, local business networks and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to support young people to make informed choices."

"We welcome the central involvement of LEPs in the Enterprise Advisors network, which is in line with our Careers Guidance: Guaranteed campaign recommendation around the LEP being the obvious central vehicle to bring together local partners." Leading providers have welcomed the initiative to ‘join the dots’ and increase

coverage in careers and enterprise provision. Sherry Coutu, one of the UK’s leading investors and Founder of Founders4Schools, comments, "The entrepreneurial renaissance sweeping the country has opened up huge opportunities for young people. First hand experience from the business leaders driving this change is the best way of inspiring young people for their professional futures. Founders 4 Schools welcomes the Enterprise Adviser network as a vehicle to bring the best of business into the classroom and prepare the next generation for enterprise."

Kirstie Mackey, Director of LifeSkills created with Barclays, comments, "Through the LifeSkills programme we have experienced the benefits of teachers and businesses working together, young people feel more inspired and confident about entering the world of work. Enterprise Advisers will help drive this engagement and we are delighted to be involved in improving outcomes for young people."

Jan Ellis, Chief Executive of the Career Development Institute, comments: "We welcome the government’s commitment to careers and enterprise through this new company. We look forward to working in partnership to ensure the delivery of professional careers education, information, advice and guidance."

Susie Perrett, Director of Education at Business in the Community, comments, "The future career prospects of young people are too often dictated by social background and location. BITC supports the Enterprise Adviser network because it too will give all schools the opportunity to provide direct employer support for young people across the country. Local connections with schools and employers will help businesses engage with young people to raise awareness about the skills and characteristics needed in the world of work."

To engage with the Enterprise Adviser network, employers are encouraged to contact their Local Enterprise Partnership, who will put them in touch with their local Coordinator.

Notes to Editors

(1) It’s who you meet: why employer contacts at school make a difference to the employment prospects of young adults: Education & Employment Taskforce and YouGov; 2012

(2) Inspiring Growth: CBI/Pearson and Skills Survey; July 2015

Media Contacts:

Jack Davies

Seven Hills

0207 199 6193

07872 169 072


About The Careers & Enterprise Company:

The Careers & Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation that has been set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Its role is to take an umbrella view of the landscape of careers and enterprise, enabling programmes that work, filling gaps in provision and ensuring coverage across the country.

  • To inspire young people
  • To inform independent choice
  • To help young people achieve even more The Careers & Enterprise Company was incorporated in February 2015. It is a community interest company and independent of government.

Its four core principles are:

  1. Test, learn and adapt
  2. Build on what works
  3. Work nationally, tailor locally
  4. Enable and convene the best programmes

Its work covers the following areas:

  1. Enterprise Adviser Network: A network of Enterprise Advisers working directly with the leadership of individual schools and colleges to develop effective employer engagement programmes. Enterprise Advisers are volunteers from the world of work (businesses and the public sector, organisations of all sizes including the self-employed) and work one-to-one with schools and colleges. Clusters of 20 schools and colleges are supported by a full time Coordinator.
  2. Investment Fund: An Investment Fund to scale good ideas and fill gaps in provision.
  3. Enterprise Passport: A digital passport to help young people broaden their experience and showcase their extracurricular experiences and wider skills.
  4. Research: The development and dissemination of a fact base around ‘what works’ to help schools and employers prioritise activity and maximise impact.