New scheme to boost schools’ links with business

Cllr Nick BennettYOUNG people in East Sussex will be inspired by the opportunities of the world of work – thanks to a new partnership between schools and employers.

East Sussex County Council has secured funding to employ two enterprise co-ordinators, who will help create a network of volunteer enterprise advisers to work with schools and colleges across the county.

The advisers, who will be drawn from local businesses, will help schools to develop and deliver careers advice strategies for their students

The funding has been secured by the council on behalf of Skills East Sussex, the county’s employment and skills board, from the Careers & Enterprise Company, a community interest company set up earlier this year with £20 million of Government funding.

Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “The fast changing world of work requires ever closer connection between employment and education.

“We are thrilled to be working with Skills East Sussex to launch the enterprise adviser network, which will support schools and colleges in the area to forge even stronger links with local employers.”

The scheme supports the county council’s employability and skills strategy, launched last year in a bid to ensure the county’s workforce has the skills businesses need.

Cllr Nick Bennett, East Sussex County Council lead member for learning and school effectiveness, said: “It’s vital that our schools not only provide excellent academic learning but also prepare students for adult life in a much broader sense.

“We need to ensure young people have access to information about the wealth of opportunities that await them, including vocational routes into work, so that they can make informed choices about their future.

“This new scheme will allow much greater collaboration between schools and colleges and local employers, allowing students to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience.

“It will help us to ensure the young people entering the world of work have the skills business needs, particularly in sectors where there is likely to be economic growth.

“We hope the programme will provide a boost for both the career prospects of our young people and the county’s economy as a whole.”

The free service is being offered to schools and colleges across the county, with the aim of matching up at least 20 schools with an enterprise adviser by next summer.

The funding will also allow enterprise advisers to access resources to support schools with their career education activities.

Schools or businesses wanting to participate in the scheme can contact Debbie Martin or Sarah Freeman, enterprise co-ordinators, by emailing