Government calls for more employers to engage with schools

David Leadbetter, who manages the Enterprise Advisor Networks throughout Cumbria and Lancashire says it is going from strength-to-strength with more businesses than ever linking up with schools. As the Government calls for more employer engagement, find out how you could get involved.

What we need to do now is to make sure that the EANs are making a real change, our aim is to eventually see the scheme delivered in a consistent manner in every secondary school across the two counties.

During 2017 we rapidly grew these networks bringing local schools together with business leaders. From a practical point what will typically happen is we will go into a school and audit their careers, enterprise and education provision, then put together a development plan with the school.

Working with the school’s senior management and using the Enterprise Adviser’s expertise and knowledge we can put together a plan which is inspirational and leads to lots of positive and meaningful employer and workplace experiences for the young people.

In Lancashire, Inspira employs six enterprise co-ordinators led by Kay Vaughan. As we go into 2018, all 113 schools will be matched with network advisors from local business. The County has seven priority market sectors which are, Construction; Energy and environment; Health and social care; Professional business services and finance; Advanced manufacturing; Creative IT and Digital and the Visitor economy. These priority sectors form the basis for the employer encounters.

Research has shown that if students have four or more encounters with employers they are five times less likely to become NEETS. Encounters can range from work experience to mock interviews and speed networking through to site visits to understand how their geography lessons can be put into practice.

Inspira also delivers one-to-one employer mentoring in Blackpool and the Carlisle district, Copeland and Allerdale. Employer Mentoring co-ordinators work with schools to identify young people, who on paper may be doing well academically, but who may benefit from a mentor. This could be for such things as building confidence, giving an insight into the work of a particular industry or as a positive aspirational role model.
So far Inspira has 50 mentors working in Lancashire and 100 in Cumbria, and we are looking to grow that.

There are lots of different ways employers and employees can get involved, if you are interested in volunteering your time, email us at or contact David on @InspiraDavidL

Click on the links below to read the other articles:

A world of opportunity in 2018- Employer Engagement core to Inspira's work in 2018

Growth and The Royal Charter for NCS - NCS on track for largest cohort to date

Pilot programme for the NHS - Developing a pilot programme for the NHS

Workplace Health on the agenda - Workplace Health important for productivity