Government’s Careers Company announces roll-out of ‘enterprise advisers’ for young people

Government's Careers Company announces roll-out of 'enterprise advisers' for young people

The government’s Careers and Enterprise Company was today due to announce the roll-out of its piloted system of ‘enterprise advisers’ to go into colleges and schools.

The plan, announced in July, is for all 39 local enterprise partnerships (Leps) across the country to employ ‘enterprise co-ordinators’ to work with the advisers — with 28 Leps initially taking part from this month.

The advisers will work on the co-ordinators’ behalf with schools and colleges, briefing learners about employment options and any vocational training needed to secure jobs, a careers company spokesperson said.

She said that the aim will be to have advisers going into all 3,800 state-funded secondary schools across the country, and they will also work with local FE colleges.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “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.”

An FE Week report in July revealed that prominent management consultant and former adviser to Tony Blair Claudia Harris (pictured above) had been appointed chief executive of the £20m employer-led company.

She said: “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.

“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.”

The company spokesperson said: “The roll out [of enterprise advisers] follows a set of successful pilots over the past year.

“Every Lep in the country has expressed interest in this network and the company is working with them to initiate a nationwide roll out.”

She added that “28 [Lep] areas will launch in September with a second wave starting before Christmas and a third in early 2016”.

Stewart Segal, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, told FE Week: “While we welcome anything that helps to improve careers advice for learners about vocational training, these advisers will have to make sure that they work with the existing careers advice services available to learners and do not confuse the situation.”

Martin Doel, chief executive at the Association of Colleges, said: “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.

“We have been lobbying Ministers and officials about careers advice for years and although this new approach won’t solve everything overnight we think it is a step in the right direction.‎”

Neil Carberry, Confederation of British Industry director for education and skills, said: “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.”