Successful business project to reach more schools in Devon, Somerset, Torbay and Plymouth

More schools in Devon, Somerset, Plymouth and Torbay are set to benefit from a successful business project, after receiving additional funding.

The Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN), which matches schools with businesses and aims to improve careers provision for young people, is currently taking place in 36 schools in the Heart of the South West area.

The additional funding will allow the project to roll out to a further 27 schools – this will mean that 60% of schools in the area will have a volunteer business mentor, known as an Enterprise Adviser. Six special schools have also been invited to take part.

The Advisers began work with their allocated schools in the autumn, helping to identify new ideas and create a bespoke action plan. Over the next year, each Enterprise Adviser will work with the school to support the development of career guidance available to young people and increase the opportunity to encounter employers.

More businesses are also being encouraged to get involved, as a new set of volunteer Enterprise Advisers is needed for the additional schools.

Stephen Criddle, Chair of the Enterprise Adviser Steering Group, Principal of South Devon College and HotSW LEP Board Member said: “This additional funding is really good news for schools and young people, who will all have access to the project and the external business perspective an Enterprise Adviser can provide. Ultimately, the aim is to roll out the project to all schools and this is an important step towards that.

“We would like to encourage interested businesses to take part in the project by registering on our website, as we now have vacancies for volunteer Enterprise Advisers in schools across the area.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “The expansion of this project is also good news for the economy – it allows employers the chance to directly work with schools and help shape and influence careers advice and guidance for future generation of workers. Creating rewarding careers is at the core of our mission – as is helping businesses grow – so expanding the Enterprise Advisor Service to nearly double the number of schools is a real step forward for the Heart of the South West.”

Funding for the project was secured by HotSW LEP, in conjunction with the four upper tier local authorities. The Enterprise Adviser Network encourages employers and schools to work together to support young people in making informed choices about their future careers.

CSW Group is contracted to provide the service, which is being funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Development Agency.

To find out more visit www.heartofswlep.co.uk/easapply