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West of England launches 'Careers Hub' to improve opportunities for young people

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Written by: Hannah Baker | Posted 21 September 2018 11:46

West of England launches 'Careers Hub' to improve opportunities for young people

The the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are launching a careers 'hub' to improve work opportunities for young people in the region.

Weca and LEP will initially work with 25 schools and colleges from across Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. 

Weca secured £220,000 from the Careers & Enterprise Company to establish the new 'hub', while additional funds were provided by WECA, the LEP and Future Quest.

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “We need the right skills for businesses now and into the future and we must encourage young people to realise their potential.

"The new Careers Hub will ensure young people have more opportunities to connect with the world of work and potential future employers.

"Evidence shows that if a student has four or more opportunities to engage with an employer, they are more likely to secure employment, and earn more during their career.”

The Careers Hub will offer support to schools including up to £3,500 per year to use on opportunities to strengthen links with employers; access to a networking group; support from an enterprise co-ordinator and enterprise advisors; careers leader training; and continuing professional development for teaching staff.

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Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “If employers, schools and colleges can better prepare young people for the world of work, we're not just benefiting the future economy, but improving prospects for thousands of young people.”

There are currently 49 enterprise advisors in the West of England, who are part of an Enterprise Advisor Network of trained volunteers from the local business community.

They work with headteachers and school leaders, sharing knowledge and experiences, and helping to deliver better careers support and work experience opportunities. 

Prof Steve West, chair of the West of England LEP, said: “The new Careers Hub will play a key role in the long-term success of our region’s economy, building on the success of our existing Enterprise Advisor Network, and strong partnerships schools, colleges, and businesses to ensure young people get timely and relevant careers advice and meaningful work experience.

"This will help lead to improved employment opportunities for our region’s businesses in the future.”

The Enterprise Advisor Network is looking for more professionals from local businesses to volunteer as advisors. To register interest, email enterprise@westofengland-ca.gov.uk.

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