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Network of 85 advisers from 70 companies celebrate success in getting students work-ready

7 December 2017

A network of 85 enterprise advisers from over 70 companies is working directly with schools to improve employer engagement as part of a major drive to enhance careers advice and support for young people. 

At the network’s first celebration event held on 5th December at Transport Systems Catapult in Milton Keynes, Enterprise Adviser Network, a partnership between SEMLEP and the Careers and Enterprise Company, celebrated achievements in linking employers to 75% of all mainstream schools from across the South East Midlands area.

Through the Network, Enterprise Advisers volunteer their time to work with schools to develop and deliver employer-led careers strategies to help young people get ready for work. These strategies and their success is benchmarked against 8 key areas: 1. developing a stable careers programme, 2. using quality labour market information, 3. addressing the needs of each pupil, 4. linking the curriculum to careers, 5. improving encounters with employers and employees, 6. enhancing experiences of workplaces, 7. developing links with further and higher education and 8. delivering guidance to each individual.

Announcing results from the Network’s impact survey of schools who have piloted the Enterprise Network over the last 18 months in Northamptonshire, 100% of schools stated that their students are more informed about education and career opportunities available to them, 94% of school careers staff say they now have better networks with employers, 83% agree they are better connected to local employers and 83% state that students are better prepared for work.

Paul Thompson, Employers and Skills Manager at SEMLEP said, “This Network is about getting the right advice from employers and relevant labour market information to students early on so they are far more informed about the career choices they have and the steps they need to take to achieve their ambitions. The impact this Network is already having in helping students to be better prepared for the world of work is clear. Over half of all secondary schools in the South East Midlands now have employer-led careers plan in place and are delivering against them.

“This event was to say thank you to all the Enterprise Advisers who volunteer their time and to celebrate the difference that their involvement is making to our young people.”

The Careers and Enterprise Company, who jointly runs the Enterprise Adviser Network with SEMLEP, has invested £146,000 to support different types of employer engagement in careers development activities in schools including talks, site visits, mentoring, enterprise activities – such as running your business, and work experience.

The Enterprise Adviser Network is making a major contribution to delivering the Growing People Skills Strategy, part of SEMLEP’s Strategic Economic Plan which is also aligned to Government’s recently published Careers Strategy.

For further information about the Enterprise Adviser Network, including the full list of Advisers, businesses and schools involved, visit

Photos below: Ruth Devine, MD SJD Electricals and Deborah Foster, Enterprise Adviser Coordinator SEMLEP | Paul Thompson, Employer and Skills Manager, SEMLEP

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