At the start of National Careers Week, The Careers & Enterprise Company and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) is calling out to employers across all sectors and industries to help make a real difference to the lives of young people.
By providing encounters with their work place, businesses and enterprises, both large and small, can bring the world of work to life for young people.
It is a critical aspect of the support young people need – by connecting them to employers and employees – they have the opportunity to ask questions, challenge perceptions and get a real taste of what different careers look like.
Without these encounters, the world of work remains an abstract concept for many secondary school children, with research indicating that young people are 86% less likely to be employed or in further education or training. The same research indicates that with the right number of encounters, they can also earn up to 18% more during their career.
The Government’s new Careers Strategy, launched at the end of 2017, identifies a new requirement for all pupils in school years 7 to 13 to have at least one encounter per year.
The message from The Careers & Enterprise Company and CWLEP is that although real progress has been made over the last two years, with many employers stepping up to meet the challenge, lots still needs to be done.
This includes a new initiative that asks employers to reach out to as many young people as they have employees.
In order to make this happen, The Careers & Enterprise Company is continuing to build a national network that connects schools and colleges to employers and further education.
Already more than 2,000 secondary schools nationally have joined this Enterprise Adviser Network and are making these vital connections.
Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company said:
“Young people need vivid experiences with potential employers to bring career opportunities to life. It’s fantastic news that so many employers already recognise this vital fact. Over the last two years, The Careers & Enterprise Company has seen a 50% increase in the number of encounters young people have been able to make with the world of work and this is due to the hard work of the network.
“But lots more still needs to be done and it’s more important than ever that we connect employers of all sizes and from all sectors to young people. We are asking them to work with us to help young people to fulfil their potential.”
Marion Plant, Principal and Chief Executive of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, and Chair of CWLEP’s Jobs & Skills Business Group, said:
“Work placements are vital to give young people a glimpse of life post-education as well as the skills they will need in their future careers.
“There is also a benefit to businesses as well because they have the opportunity to showcase their companies to potential employees and put the foundations in place to teach the skills they need to the next generation of their workforce.
“National Careers Week is the perfect chance to highlight the careers guidance available to help young people make informed choices about their careers and here in Coventry and Warwickshire there is a great deal of advice on offer.”
 Mann, A et al (2017) Contemporary Transitions : Young people reflect on life after secondary school and college.