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Black Country LEP seeks Enterprise Advisers to connect young people and the world of work

Following the launch of the national Careers & Enterprise Company Enterprise Adviser Programme earlier this month, the Black Country LEP is calling for senior level business volunteers to help roll out the initiative across secondary schools across the Black Country.

Managed by the Black Country Skills Factory, the new Enterprise Adviser programme aims to help address the lack of knowledge and limited engagement with the world of work faced by many young people.

The Skills Factory are initially seeking up to 10 high calibre volunteers from business, employed or self-employed, to fulfil the role of Enterprise Adviser across the Black Country. Enterprise Advisers will encourage schools to explore a wide range of employer interactions as part of a wider school strategy of careers, enterprise and employer engagement.

Supported by an Enterprise Coordinator, the Enterprise Adviser will work closely with the senior leadership team of a specific school or college to:

• Support the development of a whole school strategy for careers, enterprise and employer engagement
• Provide access to their local business networks
• Help schools and colleges to focus efforts on programmes and activities that are most effective in motivating young people, supporting independent choice, and supporting positive outcomes for young people.

Volunteer Enterprise Advisers can be from any sector and will receive information and guidance via an Enterprise Coordinator. The Black Country Skills Factory is looking for individuals who are:

• Senior level experts in their own sector and able to develop an understanding of the wider local labour market and promote its needs.
• Prepared to commit to a school for at least one academic year with a time commitment of up to one day (or part day) per month.
• Willing and able to act as a ‘broker’ rather than deliver activities directly to schools.

Colin Parker, Black Country Skills Factory Director said: "Becoming an Enterprise Adviser is a unique opportunity to support a school or college in improving opportunities for young people, and it is also a chance to join a network of like-minded peers. The role is an opportunity for people to draw on their own business expertise to support schools in developing their careers and enterprise strategies.”

Speaking at ‘Enterprise for All’ (2014) Lord Young said: "I propose that Enterprise Advisers would advise head teachers and teachers on the ways employers can engage with the school, drawing on advice from key local partners, including those that offer careers advice. I would envisage that the Advisers are drawn from all sectors of the economy and not only restricted to entrepreneurs. What they will all have in common is an enthusiasm and dedication for helping young people to realise their potential by using opportunities that enterprise can offer.”

The Black Country Skills Factory is currently receiving Expressions of Interest for the role. Further information can be downloaded from . Expressions of interest should be sent to  FAO Colin Parker and highlight previous experience in this area. All volunteer Enterprise Advisers will need to be DBS checked.

The Black Country LEP aims to link 45 Black Country schools with an Enterprise Adviser working in partnership with the Education Business Partnerships across the Black Country and supported by an Enterprise Co-ordinator.

The Enterprise Adviser network is a key Careers & Enterprise Company initiative 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. 

The Careers & Enterprise Company has invested £100k; with equivalent match funding offered through the LEP and affiliated partners, to deliver the project from September 2015 through to September 2016.

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