Two innovative new initiatives will create powerful, lasting connections between local businesses, schools and colleges in the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.
The first initiative, the Swindon & Wiltshire Enterprise Adviser pilot aims to improve the effectiveness of business and education engagement and to further develop careers and enterprise activities which it is hoped will:
- motivate and inspire young people
- broaden horizons and inform independent choice
- raise aspirations and help young people to achieve more
- prepare the future workforce for the world of work.
Delivered by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council working in partnership with the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP), the pilot will feed into the nationwide Careers & Enterprise Company Enterprise Adviser network.
Enterprise Advisers are volunteers who will work directly with the leadership of individual schools and colleges. These volunteers, drawn from business and other employers, large and small, will help to develop effective employer engagement plans and enhance existing careers education, information, advice and guidance.
Clusters of schools, colleges and Enterprise Advisers will be supported by a full time Enterprise Coordinator who will bring together the schools, colleges and employers. The Enterprise Adviser pilot will offer a unique opportunity to support employers to engage with schools, colleges and young people in Swindon and Wiltshire through a national programme.
The second initiative, the Swindon & Wiltshire Employability Charter is a commitment across Swindon and Wiltshire to supporting the employability of our young people and the future workforce. Businesses and schools sign up to the charter and pledge to engage with each other to embed the vital employability skills required from the future workforce. The charter aims to provide a recognised standard of engagement, drawing together the good work being done across Swindon and Wiltshire such as career days, mock interviews, role model visits, mentoring, industry days, internships, work experience placements, traineeships and apprenticeships. Fleur de Rhe-Philipe, Wiltshire Council cabinet member with responsibility for economic development and skills, said: “Both of these exciting initiatives will work in tandem to inspire and raise the aspirations of young people in Wiltshire, supporting increased business engagement in education, positive outcomes and the future employability of young people.”
Barry Dennington, chair of the SWLEP, said: “We recognise that the business community has an important role to play in supporting the education of tomorrow’s employees and preparing young people for the world of work. These initiatives will benefit both the career aspirations of our young people, but also help to secure long term growth potential for businesses in the Swindon and Wiltshire area for decades to come.”
The Wiltshire Launch event for both initiatives takes place on Wednesday 25 November at County Hall, Trowbridge (invitation only). Invitations have gone to secondary schools, colleges and employers across Wiltshire to come along to find out how they can get involved and benefit from the schemes.