Thirty-five businesses attended an employer-led celebration at Boston United’s Jakeman’s Community Stadium this week to honour the impact careers education is having on schools across Greater Lincolnshire.
The event, hosted by the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, showcased the work of its Careers Hub, the flagship careers support programme which runs in 122 local schools and colleges including all secondary mainstream schools, special educational needs settings and pupil referral units.
As part of the programme over 200 employers regularly go into the schools to work with students and help teach them about jobs, vocations, and upcoming careers opportunities.
A variety of representatives from different sectors attended the celebration, including those from Lincolnshire Co-Op, Worldwide Fruit and Micronclean.
Pat Doody, Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, delivered the opening speech, saying: “The Careers Hub offers a way for your business to shape its talent pipeline, showcasing jobs and careers to young people in your area, and a wider market.
“In addition, becoming an enterprise adviser allows you to establish a long-term relationship with a local school or college, giving you the opportunity to influence what is delivered in the classroom in terms of careers, and ensuring young people see and hear about your business on a regular basis.”
Celebrating the work of local employers, he added: “The Careers Hub has the potential to develop innovative new careers projects, linking you, our employers, to the local talent pool. However, we could not have achieved this collective success without you, so I want to say thank you for giving up your time to inspire our young people.”
During the event, visitors heard from local schoolteachers who explained the importance of employer-led initiatives for students.
Kimberly Pickersgill, Director of Careers and Aspiration at Haven High Academy in Boston, said: “Events like this are so important if we are to be serious about making positive impacts on the next generation. The relationships between schools and local business are forged and strengthened at these events.”
Tracey Gallagher, Careers Officer at Boston High School, added: “It was an enjoyable day, useful to network and for employers to see the impact they can have on our young people.
“When employers engage and work with schools, they not only access their future talent pool but help raise employability skills to standards which align closely with their own organisational models, codes and recruitment processes, equipping young people both with knowledge, confidence and purpose heading into the world of work.”
Employers also benefitted from workshops to support their engagement with schools and colleges, and work experience charity Speakers for Schools delivered a seminar on how employers can introduce work placements for young people post-pandemic.
The Skills Builder group also discussed how employers can align the skills needed in their workplace to the skills of the next generation of workers.
Other attendees included enterprise advisers, which are local business people who volunteer their time and expertise to support the development of careers and skills programmes. They help schools’ careers leaders to connect with businesses and employers and offer work experience opportunities for young people as they begin their careers.
Speaking about the event, Traci Edwards, one of the LEP’s newest enterprise advisers and Learning and Development Consultant at Traci Edwards Training, said: “It was a really friendly and enjoyable event; I was made to feel a part of the team already and it was great to see that our work as enterprise advisers is really being valued.”
The Careers and Enterprise Company, which part-funds the national Careers Hubs initiative, recently published national data that suggests if a school meets all eight Gatsby Benchmarks, a student in that school is nearly 10% less likely to be NEET (not in employment education or training) upon leaving formal education.
Evidence also shows that young people who have four or more encounters with employers are less likely to be NEET when they leave school.
Abdul Bathin, National Enterprise Adviser Programme Manager at the Careers and Enterprise Company said: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet a diverse range of committed businesses, all in one place with one goal; to ensure our young people across Greater Lincolnshire are not left behind.
“We know world class careers education can’t exist without the input and insight from industry and it’s remarkable how the Greater Lincolnshire Careers Hub has developed and managed to galvanise stakeholders in the local area.
“I walked away knowing that businesses not only care about young people’s prospects, but- that they are also willing to give up their valuable time to help every young person find their next best step.”
The Careers Hub is made possible with funding from Lincolnshire County Council, North Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP.