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Cornwall scoops two national awards for careers work with young people
has scooped two national awards for projects that inspire and prepare young
people for the world of work.
The awards were made at the national conference of the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) in Sheffield, which also heard how businesses and schools in Cornwall are working together to bridge the gap between education and employment.
The CEC connects education and employers, and runs and funds the national Enterprise Adviser network. This matches senior business volunteers with local schools and colleges to give young people an insight into different careers.
The Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) oversees and co-funds the Enterprise Adviser Programme locally as part of its remit to help young people make more informed choices about their future careers, linking education to business in a co-ordinated way.
There were nine national awards up for grabs at the CEC’s ‘Joining the Dots’ national conference last week (May 10th).
Alastair (Ali) Carnegie from Total Energy Solutions near Callington in South East Cornwall, won the Small and Medium Enterprise Award for his Mentor+ scheme. This is a nine-week course to mentor students in schools, colleges and universities in employability skills.
Ali, who is one of the LEP’s Enterprise Advisers in Cornwall, said: “We’re delighted to have won a national award for our commitment to helping local youngsters prepare for the world of work. We use mentors from the business community and local church and have transformed the lives of many students.”
The South West regional CEC award went to St Austell’s four secondary schools (Penrice Academy, The Roseland School, Poltair School and Brannel School) for their ‘Passport to Your Future’ series of careers events that were held during National Careers Week in March this year.
The schools worked together to stage a series of evening events involving more than 50 business representatives leading talks or running activities for 250 young people and their families, with a particular focus on growth sectors in Cornwall’s economy. It was the first time that a school-led careers collaboration had been seen on this scale.
Richard Cardigan, Assistant Principal of Penrice Academy said: “We are so proud to be part of winning this national award. It is a testament to the incredible amount of hard work the schools dedicate to raising student aspiration, looking at next steps and future job opportunities. Many congratulations to all the schools.”
Lisa Neville of Cornwall Education Business Partnership said: “It is very unusual to see schools working collaboratively to give their pupils insight into careers of the future. It was clear that it was a winning concept which chimed with the ‘Your Future’ careers event, led by Cornwall Chamber of Commerce. We were keen to help get backing from the business community. It has been inspirational as I know other schools are already looking at doing something similar.”
The CEC conference also heard from one of Cornwall’s Enterprise Co-ordinators Carrie Holmes, who told the 200 delegates how the Enterprise Adviser network in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly continues to thrive, with more schools and businesses getting involved. Her presentation received spontaneous applause.
Clare Harris, the LEP’s Employment and Skills Manager, said: “It’s really important that our young people understand the fantastic careers opportunities available right here in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and that we develop the skills that local businesses need. The Enterprise Adviser programme is all about forging those links and we’re delighted that the work we and others are doing has received national recognition, and congratulations to our award-winners.”
The LEP is expanding the Enterprise Adviser network across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and will shortly be appointing two more Enterprise Co-ordinators to work with schools, colleges and local businesses.