With social mobility and employer engagement in education, policy priorities for government, Inspira - a leading career guidance provider in the North West - is helping partners in Cumbria and Lancashire to co-ordinate and integrate careers and enterprise activities in local schools and colleges.

Through the Cumbria & Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Networks which Inspira manages on behalf of the Cumbria and the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP), Inspira is on track to help join the dots; ensuring there are comprehensive programmes in-line with local plans to help raise the aspirations of young people in both regions.

"Our mission is to empower young people and adults so that they can reach their potential in life and career," said Mark Bowman, Chief Executive of Inspira. "We work across the North West managing and delivering careers and personal development initiatives to achieve this aim. In Cumbria and in Lancashire we are delivering two initiatives aimed at enhancing employability and enterprising skills, attitudes and behaviours of young people, throughout the education journey."

In conjunction with each county LEP, and funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company, Inspira is working in Cumbria and specific areas in Lancashire to build Enterprise Adviser Networks.

"We currently have 72 advisers connected to this programme throughout the two counties," said Mr Bowman. "The goal is to link the Enterprise Advisers with a school, academy or college, and through this relationship help the education institution develop a comprehensive and effective strategy as required by the Statutory Duty to provide Careers Guidance and Inspiration. By targeting advisers from key employment growth sectors we can ensure employers are wrapped into the provision thus giving young people live and real life experiences of what it is like in the world of work, and the careers available in the future."

Linked closely and a strategic lynch pin to this initiative is the Employer Mentoring programme. Inspira manages this on behalf of the Careers & Enterprise Company – again in both counties. The Employer Mentoring programme is designed to link employees and self-employed people with young people to inspire and empower pre-GCSE teens to achieve their potential.

"To be a mentor is a very rewarding experience," continued Mark. "We’re looking for people from all sectors of working life: from major national and international corporations to local SMEs and self employed people – all who have a genuine passion to unlock the potential of young people."

For any school or employer interested in being part of these initiatives please visit our pages on the Enterprise Adviser Networks and Employer Mentoring Scheme to get more information and register interest.