Since June 2014, when Lord Young published ‘The relevance of enterprise in education’ report, there has been an ever increasing spotlight on the work readiness, employability skills and the provision of quality information, advice and guidance to support people to make an informed choice about their pathway through education and into employment.

In December 2014, the Government created the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) and allocated £20m to it. The CEC is a Community Interest Company, independent from government and led by a board of directors from the private and public sector.

Over the course of the past 2 academic years, 37 of the 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England have embarked on a national initiative, (or mission, if you’d prefer) to recruit, support and coordinate a regional volunteer network of senior business leaders – Enterprise Advisers (EA’s) - from local private, public and voluntary organisations, to work strategically with school and college leaders on the creation of careers education plans and meaningful, quality encounters for students and teachers with local, regional and national employers, training providers and apprentices.

Leading the coordination of this strategy for Coast to Capital LEP is Georgina Angele. Over the past 10 years, Georgina’s key focus has been to connect the public, private and voluntary sectors with education through strategic partnerships and careers, enterprise and employability projects (Young Enterprise,  Georgina says “the approach and structure of the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) enables educators and employers to create inspirational and informative encounters for young people that are directly linked to the world of work and the skills, attitudes and qualifications employers need to operate and grow their business. Effectively, the EAN becomes the platform for business to pipeline local talent and skills directly from our education system and into local jobs and apprenticeships.”

Over 20 schools and colleges between Brighton and Chichester are already engaged in the EAN and have been matched with an Enterprise Adviser (or two!). Funding to upscale the EAN over the next 2 years across the entire Coast to Capital LEP area is in place and therefore Georgina is now actively recruiting business leaders and employers to join the local EAN and become an essential part of a national Enterprise Adviser Network that is already over 400 people strong across the country.

The EAN will have a priority sector focus in line with those of Coast to Capital Skills Strategy, including Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering, Creative Digital & IT, Construction, Health & Social Care and Visitor & Rural Economies.

To find out how you can be involved, contact Georgina directly on or 07879 980444.

EA Partner Parafix Celebrates Staff Success

EA partner Parafix is Europe’s leading converter of self-adhesive and flexible materials; supplying custom die-cut components into medical, automotive, electronics and industrial markets. MD, Mike

Punter is an Enterprise Advisor and avid supporter of the network and he works closely with the Sir Robert Woodard Academy, including employing past student Laura in an apprenticeship role.

Mike commented: “We are delighted to celebrate the completion of Level 3 BTECs in Mechanical Engineering by two of our employees – Laura and Luke. My personal role as an EA is based on my desire to pay back something, because of what I have achieved, so working with the Sir Robert Woodard Academy just shows what can be done when a local community commits itself to a plan.”

Laura, our Engineering Apprentice, began the BTEC, as well as an NVQ, two years ago as part of her apprenticeship at Parafix. Luke, a Machine Operator, saw the opportunity to gain the same qualifications and asked Parafix Management if he could also study these courses. Impressed by Luke’s enthusiasm to learn, we agreed to support him in both the BTEC and NVQ.

For two years Laura and Luke have attended Northbrook College once a week to study the BTEC, which included modules of maths, mechanical principles, drawing, pneumatics and hydraulics.

The course has complemented Luke’s understanding of the machines he works with every day; the way they operate and how they’re built. If the machinery isn’t running as it should, he knows exactly where to look to rectify it and he can also perform the maintenance of machinery.

Laura is able to apply the course to her every day work as she continues to learn about Parafix and the work of the R&D department, for example creating CAD drawings for prototypes.

I am incredibly proud of Laura and Luke for their hard work and commitment. Their enthusiasm and willingness to improve their skill sets are highly valued qualities and I wish them luck with the completion of their NVQs. Well done to both”.

Laura commented: “I’ve really enjoyed the BTEC and it has certainly aided the understanding of my work at Parafix. It helped to have Luke study with me too, as walking into a male dominated classroom for the first time was a little intimidating”.

Luke commented: “I really appreciate being given the opportunity to take on more challenges; not only from my studies, but also in training to use more complex die-cutting machinery. I’ve enjoyed the work and it’s been great studying alongside Laura, especially when I’ve struggled with the maths, which was to A Level standard!”.

Luke and Laura have completed and submitted all of their BTEC work and are awaiting their final results. They continue to work on their NVQs and Laura will begin an HNC in September.

Peter Midwinter, Principal, of Sir Robert Woodard Academy said;

‘As an Academy we are thrilled to learn of Laura’s continuing success. It is clear that there are many pathways available for young people to pursue their careers and life ambitions. Through our partnership with our EA, Mike Punter, we endeavour to ensure that all avenues are kept open and the needs of our students are provided for be it through formal education or enriching activities facilitated by other providers such as industry, commerce or FE and HE establishments. What Laura’s experiences have shown is that university is not the only route to achieve.’

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