Giving young people a chance to succeed

By Jordan Holder, 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 Suffolk and Norfolk.

Published in Suffolk 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 who are, volunteers from businesses that 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 learn 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.

The Covid impact on 18-24-year-olds

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 Suffolk and Norfolk to tackle this?

Benefiting businesses

Becoming an Enterprise Adviser is just one way to 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.

James Potter, MD of Superstructures, has been an Enterprise Adviser with One sixth form in Ipswich since 2018 and has now recruited his fourth degree apprentice from there.

He says: “Joining the New Anglia Careers Hub as an Enterprise Adviser has been a fantastic initiative for Superstructures. The team and I are able to support, guide and educate our apprentices Liam, Lee, David and Jake alongside their degree learning so that we’re building a team for the future.

“With our industry generating £90 billion annually for the UK and creating 10% of all jobs, it’s essential not just for our industry but all industries and businesses, that we invest in our future workforce. With programmes like the Enterprise Adviser Network, it’s an excellent way to get started.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the New Anglia Careers Hub, contact me using the details below.

Jordan Holder is Operational Careers Hub Lead (Suffolk) at New Anglia
T: 07860 833252
or visit

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