Some of Lincolnshire's most renowned businesses are mentoring Year 11 student groups to support them through their next steps in careers education through the Enterprise Adviser Network.
St Peter and St Paul Catholic Voluntary Academy in Lincoln has been part of Greater Lincolnshire's Enterprise Adviser Network since 2019 and has created a business advisory group to support Year 11 students at the school with their knowledge, confidence, and aspirations regarding careers education.
Mark McNulty from Inzpire Ltd, Mel Holiday from Chiselwood Homes, Damian Froggatt from Lincoln City FC, and Dr Tom Waller from EPOCH are all local business leaders who have committed their time and experience to group mentoring sessions with students commencing in September.
After a successful online pilot programme, all parties have decided to run the sessions face to face over the course of a full academic year. Each business partner will share their own career experiences and support the students as they progress through their final year at school, helping to build confidence and prepare the students for the world of work.
Mark McNulty, Head of Division, Information & Data Services at Inzpire Ltd, said: “I find young people inspiring and interesting; the breadth of different backgrounds, the journey they have taken so far and what their hopes are for the future.
“Life is difficult, decisions are difficult, wondering if you are doing the right thing is difficult, and yet they are being asked to make important choices at an age when, frankly, they just don’t know. My hope is that if I can help just one person then it will have been more than worth it."
Matthew Turton, acting Headteacher at St Peter and St Paul Catholic Voluntary Academy, explained: “The students have really valued the opportunity to work with business partners over the course of this academic year.
“While many traditional opportunities to engage with careers programmes (such as work experience) have been severely limited over the last two years, this exciting initiative has genuinely enthused our students, allowing them to network with people in job sectors that they are interested in and supporting them towards shaping their aspirations for the future.
“I would highly recommend this project to other schools.”
Alex Nightingale, Enterprise Co-ordinator at the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, added: "The school is really keen to help build confidence and aspiration across their learners, and we hope that by introducing local businesses into their lives over a longer period, they will begin to realise they are capable of achieving great things.”
He concluded: “The businesses have been superb in supporting the EAN and I look forward to supporting everyone to make sure this programme succeeds."
Evidence suggests that the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic will be challenging, and the employment prospects of young people will benefit from engaging with more local businesses.
The Greater Lincolnshire Enterprise Adviser Network aims to support all schools and colleges across the area to bolster careers education, link business with education and ultimately inspire young people to make informed decisions about their future.
If you would like to know more about the Enterprise Adviser Network or you are interested in supporting schools and colleges with careers education, please email LEP_ECS@lincolnshire.gov.uk.
For more information on The Careers & Enterprise Company, please email email@example.com or call 0207 566 3400.