| News

The Careers & Enterprise Company has announced a further £2.5m investment to support schools and colleges in 35 areas of need across the country. This funding will help schools and colleges to support young people with their career pathways, opportunities, and exposure to the working world.

This significant investment is the second part of The Careers & Enterprise Fund 2018, worth a total of £4.2m. This second £2.5m investment will be allocated to schools and colleges of highest need in 35 geographic areas to help them fund ‘employer encounters’.

In total, 590 schools are set to benefit from the investment.

According to research by Education and Employers, young adults who recall four or more encounters with employers while at school are significantly less likely to be NEET and earn on average 16% more than peers who recall no such activities.

The funding allocation is rolled out through offering a ‘virtual wallet’ to each school and college. Virtual wallets are an innovative method which provides schools and colleges control over funding, by allowing them to choose from a range of approved careers activity providers.

At the same time, schools and colleges can be confident in the quality of careers activity providers, each of which has been assessed and approved by The Careers & Enterprise Company. 

Projects funded through this investment include a programme targeting disadvantaged schools in Yorkshire and the West Midlands to raise aspirations through careers activities. Another focuses on enhancing employability skills through team building, Dragon’s Den style business pitches and mock interviews.

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are the focus of one programme, as well as one which builds alumni communities to harness the experience of former students – to improve motivation, confidence and employment prospects.

A full list of recipients is available at the bottom of the page.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

“In the last year we have seen significant improvements in the quality of careers support in England – and notably strong performance in some of the most disadvantaged areas. This funding will ensure a continued laser like focus on disadvantage ensuring those that need it most are provided with high quality careers support.”

A selection of the organisations supported, and the programmes developed through this funding are summarised below. 

Future First (£276,700)

With this funding, Future First will be working with 85 more state schools and colleges, across 31 areas of low social mobility. Future First works with schools and colleges to build, engage and activate alumni communities, harnessing the experience of former students to improve motivation, confidence and employment prospects for current students in Years 7 to 13, through alumni engagement workshops and careers activities. They have worked with over 1100 state secondary schools and colleges and have reached more than 300,000 young people.

Matt Lent, CEO of Future First, said: “Students cannot be what they cannot see. Alumni are inspirational as role models because they went to the same school and current students can easily relate to them and begin to visualise their own pathways from a similar starting point. Our research shows 94% of teachers agreed that meeting alumni improved students’ knowledge of career and education pathways and 84% of students said meeting alumni helped them to realise ‘people like me’ can be successful.”

Young Enterprise (£268,471)

The funding will enable Young Enterprise to deliver a range of skills building programmes in partnerships with schools and colleges across more than 20 different parts of England. In terms of impact, this will allow over 13,000 young people, living in some of the most disadvantaged areas of England to access support from over 400 local business volunteers, to increase the range of career opportunities they’re aware of and develop skills to help build successful futures.

Sharon Davies, Deputy CEO of Young Enterprise, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Careers & Enterprise Company on this fantastic programme. Young Enterprise programmes are proven to develop the employability skills that young people need in the changing world of work and our network of industry-based volunteers continue to play a pivotal role in raising their aspirations.”

Ahead Partnership (£125,400)

Ahead Partnership will be working closely with selected education providers across Yorkshire and the West Midlands to develop a programme of aspiration-raising careers activities for the region’s most disadvantaged schools. Ahead Partnership will work in collaboration with the schools to develop a bespoke programme of careers activities, including employer-led industry days, workplace visits, interview practice, careers panels and networking sessions. Business volunteers will be involved in the activities, helping to demonstrate the diverse range of sectors and professions available, and providing them with important exposure to business professionals.

Stephanie Burras CBE, CEO of Ahead Partnership, said: “This funding will allow us to accelerate the work we’re doing in these important areas of the country; work which focuses on helping young people to understand and make the very most of their career opportunities. We know that young people in these areas currently struggle to access suitable careers support. We are looking forward to engaging with these students to raise aspirations and help them develop the vital skills they will need to get a head start as they embark upon their careers.”

Opus (£122,190)

Opus are a Special Education Needs provider. As an organisation they aim to engage and introduce new employers to the schools in the project who will then work with the students with Special Educational Needs. It is these students, who often do not have a voice with employers, and may get left behind by traditional enterprise education.

Jem Jones, Managing Director of Opus, said: “We are delighted that 120 schools chose to use our services, and this showed a great commitment to those students with additional needs. We look forward to starting many new, fruitful and long-term employer relationships for those schools and the students within them.”

EY Foundation (£120,966)

The grant will enable the EY Foundation to significantly extend its reach and support thousands of young people, from primary age to young adults. Working directly with schools, the EY Foundation will deliver employability skills: a day of facilitated team building and problem-solving including Dragon’s Den style pitches and interactive Q&A sessions with an employer panel. They will also organise workplace visits including team building exercises and day in the life sessions. Thirdly there will mock interviews where young people will work with trained volunteer business mentors, to build confidence and learn self-management and organisation skills.

Maryanne Matthews, CEO of EY Foundation, said: “We were thrilled to secure a grant from The Careers & Enterprise Company, which will help us to transform the future of more young people. It enables us to increase understanding of the work opportunities available, how to access them and how to thrive in the workplace. Because of this funding we are already working directly with 77 schools and expect to support about 20,000 young people facing barriers to unlocking their potential.”




Adviza Partnership

 £                      6,760

Ahead Partnership Limited

 £                  125,400

Apps For Good

 £                    77,660

Black Country Education Business Partnership

 £                  111,080

Business in the Community

 £                  110,570

C & K Careers Ltd

 £                    32,794

Career Connect

 £                  141,320

Career Ready

 £                  157,446

Connexions Leicester City

 £                    21,785

Cornwall Education Business Partnership

 £                    26,400

CSW Group Ltd

 £                      6,000

Culture Shift

 £                    36,240

EBP South

 £                    29,760


 £                    98,300

Form the Future CIC

 £                      6,670

Future First

 £                  276,700


 £                    18,315

Learn by Design

 £                    44,601

Leicestershire Education Business Company

 £                    37,847

National Literacy Trust

 £                    10,025


 £                    66,816

Opus Employer Engagement Services

 £                  122,190

Positive Steps

 £                    19,665

Salford Foundation LTD

 £                    58,500

Elevate Education Business Partnership

 £                    54,850

Sheffield City Council

 £                    14,500

St Helens Chamber

 £                    30,350

Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce & Industry

 £                    13,190

Stride Learning LLP

 £                      9,050

The EY Foundation

 £                  120,966

The White Room

 £                    20,530

Volunteer It Yourself CIC

 £                  257,340

Young Enterprise

 £                  268,471

Cornwall Marine Network

 £                    20,175

Cornwall College Group

 £                    14,842

Goonhilly Earth Station

 £                      8,860

Real Ideas Organisation

 £                    19,400

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

 £                    11,565