Enterprise Coordinators to bring education and business together

January 30, 2018

Secondary schools and colleges across the Marches will be given greater access to senior business leaders who can support in the delivery of careers, work, and enterprise education with the announcement that three dedicated Enterprise Coordinators have been recruited for the region.
Part of a national programme that is supported by the Careers and Enterprise Company, the role of the Enterprise Coordinators will be focused on recruiting senior figures from within the local business community who will work, voluntarily, with schools and colleges to develop and enhance their business engagement plans.
The Coordinators, all of whom have in-depth experience of the careers sector, will provide the business leaders, to be known as ‘Enterprise Advisers’, with high-quality training, introductions to schools and colleges, and extensive on-going support.
Speaking on the announcement that a Coordinator had been recruited for each of the three local authority areas within the Marches region, Professor Ian Oakes, who chairs the Marches’ Skills Board, said:
“Engaging with young people to demonstrate the relevance of their studies and enable them to understand how it translates through to the world of work, is only possible when they’re given the opportunity to engage with experts from within the workplace.
“There are many highly experienced people out there who possess a wealth of invaluable business knowledge and the role of our three new coordinators will make it possible for those experts to develop meaningful relationships with schools and colleges and provide them with relevant advice and guidance, as well as access to work experience opportunities.”
Taking up the roles are: Karen Banks in Herefordshire, Shelley Robinson in Shropshire and Kim Hodgetts in Telford & Wrekin.
Speaking of her appointment, Karen said: “Having worked previously in both the Job Centre and then as Work Experience Coordinator for Hereford Council, I feel well placed to take on the role of Enterprise Coordinator. I have plenty of experience liaising with both employers and schools and the contacts I have built up should enable me to facilitate new relationships between the two.
“Indeed, it is seeing the students benefit from these partnerships which I find most rewarding and I am very much looking forward to bringing more business leaders and young people together.”
Shelley Robinson added: “Having myself been a teacher for many years, I appreciate the pressures that schools are under to deliver both an academic curriculum AND prepare young people for the world of work. My work as a Careers Adviser, meanwhile, showed me just how important it is for young people to not only receive personalised guidance, but also have access to a range of employment experiences.
“I am very much looking forward to establishing the Enterprise Adviser Network here in Shropshire to ensure that as many young people as possible benefit from invaluable business expertise.”
Kim Hodgetts, commented: “Through my previous role as a Business Adviser, I volunteered as an adviser for the Young Enterprise scheme which allowed me to work with students as they set up their own businesses. This gave me a real passion for supporting young people to develop their business skills.
“In order to successfully prepare young people for the world of work we do, however, need to know what we’re preparing them for and it’s here where the input of business leaders comes in to its own. Enabling businesses to have input in to the careers development of today’s young people, will ensure that those businesses are provided with better equipped and prepared employees in the future.”
Gill Hamer, Director of the Marches LEP, concluded: “Kim Hodgetts was the first Enterprise Coordinator appointed and, already, has supported over 8000 students across Telford & Wrekin to engage with businesses which is fantastic.
“The experience that the Enterprise Coordinators will bring to their roles will be invaluable and will mean that very soon, many more young people across the whole Marches region will be benefiting from meaningful interactions with business leaders.”
Anyone within business across the Marches who is interested in becoming an Enterprise Adviser should, in the first instance, contact Aggie Caesar-Homden, Skills Project Manager at the Marches LEP. 01743 462 026 / Aggie.Caesar.Homden@marcheslep.org.uk

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