Wakefield businesses invited to join successful Enterprise Adviser Network

Wakefield Council and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are urging local businesses to ensure Wakefield’s young people are leaving school with the right skills by joining the LEP’s successful Enterprise Adviser Network.

16 Wakefield business leaders from companies including Agenci and Henry Boot have already become Enterprise Advisers, providing strategic employer engagement advice to 22 local secondary schools; supporting improved workplace skills and experience opportunities for their students.

This free service sees senior leaders in business working with schools to support the creation and implementation of careers and enterprise action plans giving employers direct involvement in shaping the skills of school leavers.

The call for more businesses to get involved follows the publication of a new report which forecasts a growing demand for skilled workers in the region particularly in science, research, engineering and technology roles.  

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP said: “It is essential that our young people have the right mix of skills needed by employers to help ensure that the Leeds City Region remains competitive with the rest of the United Kingdom.

“Our Enterprise Adviser Network aims to create and strengthen links between business and education in the local area, and equip young people with the core skills needed to join the workforce. We had great results from the pilot scheme but we are aiming to do even better by reaching every school in the region by 2018 and involving more than 160 businesses - representing each sector of our economy from finance to manufacturing. 

“For our Enterprise Advisers, as little as a few hours of their time a year spent going into schools and giving inspiring talks at assembly, mentoring young people or developing in-depth skills training plans, can make a huge difference to the employment prospects of young people in the City Region.”

As part of the report the LEP also conducted research into job adverts in the region and identified the skills employers find most desirable in candidates. Communication skills were found to be one of the most sought-after attributes, appearing in a third of job postings. Other top skill types in demand include organisational skills, planning, writing and problem solving.

The Enterprise Adviser programme aims to develop these desirable skills by providing young people with four or more interactions with the world of work each year, as well as raising awareness of the types of careers available in the region.

Senior decision makers in business who are interested in supporting and developing talent in young people by influencing the curriculum and making learning more relevant to the future skills needs of the City Region labour market, are asked to contact the LEP on enterpriseadvisers@the-lep.com or visit the-lep.com/enterpriseadvisers to find out more.