Letter from Claudia Harris of the Careers and Enterprise Company

13 July 2015

Dear ASCL members,

I have recently been appointed as the Chief Executive of the newly established Careers & Enterprise Company and wanted to write to you at the earliest opportunity to introduce myself, share early plans and seek your input and collaboration.

If we succeed in our role we should make it easier for you to connect your young people to the world of work to help them better prepare for their futures. We can only do this by understanding from you what is needed and through effectively working together to deliver it over the coming months.

We are an employer-led, community interest company independent of government. Our mandate is to unlock the potential of young people (aged 12-18) by strengthening links between schools and colleges, employers and careers and enterprise bodies. We aim to expose young people to the world of work to inspire them and help them to make more informed decisions about their future.

Our approach is to test, learn and adapt as we go, to act locally, recognising the different challenges in different areas, and to build on what works.

The core of our model is a network of coordinators sitting at the heart of a cluster of 20 schools acting as a repository of information about local schools and employers. The coordinators will work with their cluster of schools to help them understand what the employers and programmes are in their area. They will also help to act as a filter. For schools who receive multiple advances from different programmes the coordinator will help simplify. For schools who receive few, they will stimulate more, calling for national support from us where necessary. We will offer each school a business volunteer (Enterprise Advisers) to work with them to develop a careers and enterprise plan based on this local support and underpinned by research on what is effective by age group. We hope you will take up this offer.

We have piloted this approach in five areas of England and the results are encouraging. On June 1 we reached out to all the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England to see if they would like to participate in a September roll-out in collaboration with other local organisations and building on what works today. (LEPs are voluntary partnerships between local authorities and businesses that aim to lead economic growth and job creation within the local area). The response has been very positive.

We are honoured that your General Secretary Brian Lightman has agreed to join our board and your National Council Member, Carl Ward has agreed to join our Advisory Council. Through them we look forward to a thoughtful and on-going dialogue.

In the next few months you will be hearing from your LEPs about this programme and Brian will share more information locally as we roll out. Brian and Carl will also be in touch in September to convene a set of roundtables where we can listen and share our plans in more detail.

Finally we welcome your questions and comments at infomation@enterpriseforeducation.co.uk

I look forward very much to working with you.

Claudia Harris

Chief Executive
The Careers & Enterprise Company