Enabling young people to succeed

By Ashley Ruthven, New Anglia Careers Hub

The Dalai Lama said: “Altruism is the best source of happiness. There is no doubt about that.” Whilst I’m no Dalai Lama, I can tell you about the New Anglia Careers Hub, how happy it’s made our volunteers, and the benefits it’s had for Norfolk and Suffolk.
Published in Norfolk Director magazine, Spring | Summer 2022

Enterprise Adviser Network

Every day, the team and I work with schools, colleges and employers across New Anglia to help young people find their best next step. And with more than 130 schools and colleges across the two counties, life tends to be rather busy trying to ensure students have meaningful encounters with employers.

The main thrust of our work is with our Enterprise Advisers, volunteers from business who we link with schools and colleges to support with:

  • Facilitating meaningful encounters with the world of work
  • Advising on school and college careers programmes, so students are learning about the skills they need to thrive in the modern workplace
  • Providing a valuable employers’ perspective on how a school or college can embed labour market information and opportunities into the careers programme

During the past two years, children and young people have been less affected than other age groups by coronavirus infection itself. Still, they have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic’s social, educational, and economic impacts.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that a month after the UK went into lockdown, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming unemployment related benefits increased by 59% compared with the previous month. Meanwhile, the number of apprenticeships offered by employers fell short of pre-virus expectations by 80%.

A report from the Resolution Foundation states: “One million under 25s face unemployment by the end of the year, with the youth unemployment rate predicted to reach 27%.” All these figures are very concerning, but what can we do as leaders in Norfolk and Suffolk to tackle this?

Benefiting businesses

Becoming an Enterprise Adviser is just one way you can support young people in New Anglia, but it’s not all one-sided; the benefits to business have helped some of our employers close the skills gap.

Graham Sinclair is an Enterprise Adviser and Technical Director at Create Consulting Engineers, which is based in Norwich. He is a big supporter of the program because it benefits both sides. “I feel there is a significant gap between the education and employment sectors. The roles of Enterprise Advisors are essential to ensure school careers programmes are tailored to give students an appropriate appreciation of the working world. They also get the right skills, confidence and knowledge for employment in whatever area they choose.

“The Enterprise Advisor role, therefore, provides this crucial link between the education and employment environments for future generations.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the New Anglia Careers Hub and how it can help your business, contact me using the details below.

Ashley Ruthven is Operational Careers Hub Lead (Norfolk) at New Anglia
T: 07825 442107
E: ashley.ruthven@newanglia.co.uk
or visit newanglia.co.uk

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