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Work of Enterprise Advisers celebrated as part of National Volunteering Week

A celebration event to thank the work of the D2N2 Careers Hub Enterprise Advisers across the Derbyshire area, who volunteer their time to work with schools and colleges, was held as part of National Volunteering Week.

An Enterprise Adviser is a business professional who comes from any industry sector or professional background, be that employed, self-employed or recently employed. They are dedicated to making a lasting impact on the future outcomes of young people by volunteering their time to achieve positive change in local schools and colleges, using core skills including relationship building and being analytical.

The D2N2 Careers Hub, part of the D2N2 Local Economic Partnership arranged the event at the Leonardo Hotel in Derby to thank the volunteers who partner with 82 institutions across Derby and Derbyshire, which includes schools, colleges, special schools and alternative provision providers.

This includes helping to put together career strategies with schools, linking school staff with their own employer network and planning and delivering careers events.

Thanking and celebrating the impact of Enterprise Advisers at the event, Abdul Bathin, National Enterprise Adviser Programme Manager at The Careers and Enterprise Company, said it was a good opportunity to pause, reflect and take a forward look on how partnerships between businesses and education institutions could be further strengthened.

“As well as saying a huge thank you, Volunteers’ Week provides us the perfect opportunity to reflect on the difference our Enterprise Advisers are making. We want to build on what’s working and harness the skills and expertise of our volunteer Enterprise Advisers to help our schools, special schools, and colleges deliver world class careers education,” he said.

“We have a strong foundation of over 4,000 committed Enterprise Advisers working up and down the country. We know it’s working but it’s about continuing to strengthen the partnerships, maximising the value of expertise in our Network, and delivering solutions together”.

Enterprise Advisers heard at the event from Andrew Kilgour, the Careers Leader at Derby Moor Spencer Academy, about how institutions differ in their careers provision and how they can work to maximise the opportunities for their schools.

He also reflected on how careers provision was changing within education.

“Careers has become a key word within education over the past five or six years, it is now much higher on the agenda,” he said. “There is a greater acceptance that it is here to stay and it features more frequently in Ofsted reports and school improvement plans, so schools certainly are giving it more attention.

“I think the key is how Careers Leaders and Enterprise Advisers can work together strategically to support their school to prepare students to navigate their future careers.”

Amanda Stevenson-Bate, the Enterprise Adviser who is partnered with Derby Moor Spencer Academy, agreed that this was where they were finding success.

She said: “In every lesson now, the curriculum at Derby Moor Spencer Academy looks at the competencies needed in work. So, in a Geography lesson, students won’t just be learning about Geography but also perhaps problem solving.”

Amanda is the Talent Development Manager at Alstom and said the role of Enterprise Adviser had also helped her own personal development.

“This role has really developed my skills and confidence. I am learning more about schools and the education system. Through being an Enterprise Adviser I am now a parent governor for my son’s school so, in both roles, I think it helps me take a holistic view.”

The event provided an opportunity for Enterprise Advisers to share their experiences and learn more from each other.

Lisa Stones, discussed her career path to Operations Director of Mortgage First, from working in the fashion business with Top Shop to setting up a wedding planning business, before changing to run Mortgage1st with her husband.
She said working as an Enterprise Adviser with Tibshelf School was also helping their business.

“I’m really proud of what we are doing and shout about it on social media and everywhere I go. It’s a positive message and it is having a positive impact on our recruitment because people say they want to work for a company that cares.

“We also recently won an industry award for best brokerage firm and the judges commented on the work we were doing in schools.”

As well as working with Tibshelf School to plan their careers provision, Lisa also goes into other schools to deliver lessons in mortgages, which look at house prices and deposits, as well as how different mortgages work.

She said these sessions were helping to develop her team who join her to deliver the classes, as well as giving positive messages to young people.

“The financial services sector is still very male heavy and, as a woman standing in front of those girls in schools, I can change their perception of the industry and show them it is not just for men in suits in London.”
Abdul said these stories highlighted the impact of the role of Enterprise Adviser, not just on the young people they were supporting, but also the advisers themselves, and their businesses.

“The role of Enterprise Adviser really is about empowering people, and we are seeing that is not just within our schools but also within our wider networks,” he said.

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Amanda Stevenson-Bate, Talent Development Manager at Alstom and Andrew Kilgour, Careers Lead and Derby Moor Spencer Academy at the D2N2 Careers Hub Enterprise Advisers event.

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