Helen McVey, Chief Executive of Pendleside Hospice, talks about being an Enterprise Adviser

We need to bridge the gap between the world of education and employment. I joined the Enterprise Advisor Network (EAN) in Lancashire for that very reason. The EAN is the brainchild of the Careers and Enterprise Company– with networks established across the UK. The Enterprise Advisor Network in Lancashire is delivered by Inspira on behalf of, and in partnership with, Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Lancashire County Council and the Careers and Enterprise Company.

To strengthen the bridge between the world of business and that of the education and skills sector, the EAN partners volunteers from the business community with schools and colleges. The volunteers are known as Enterprise Advisers and have strategic responsibilities or experience within their own organisation. As an Enterprise Advisor I’m supported by an Enterprise Coordinator from Inspira, and together we help the school to identify where they may benefit from or want employer engagement. I then help create access to a wider network of employers by drawing on my business links and the members of Burnley Bondholders to help support the delivery of the plan.

At Thomas Whitham Sixth Form, we have created a development plan with some very ambitious targets, such as:

  • Establishing a programme of employer encounters across year 12 and 13,
  • Supporting all year 12’s, and 13’s to experience both a speed networking session and mock interview with a local employer,
  • Relating the curriculum to career pathways and local labour market opportunities so students can understand the link between what they are learning and how they might use that in the world of work,
  • Supporting all our year 12’s in sourcing a work experience or volunteering placement.

To find out more, go to Enterprise Adviser Network

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