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Painting team

On Friday 7th October Wilmott Dixon’s refurbishment of Abbey Special School’s old Caretaker’s House was revealed.

Wilmott Dixon have spent months working on the property, providing learning and work experience for students, and transforming the house from an outdated shell to a modern and welcoming living space.

Improvements have included a new kitchen, new bathroom and new interiors. The refurbishment means that students at Abbey School can use the house to develop and practice independent living skills.

Wilmott Dixon is partnered with Abbey School through the Enterprise Adviser Network, with Head Teacher Luci Windle matched with Leigh Garbutt, Wilmott Dixon’s National Community Manager.

Leigh said: “This has been an amazing project that will offer many opportunities to the school, young people and wider community groups for many years to come and we are really proud to have brought the house back to life. The official launch will take place on Friday (Oct 7th at 10.30am), and the new name for the ‘Caretaker’s House’, which students have chosen, will be revealed.”

Luci Windle, Head Teacher at Abbey School said: “We feel very lucky to be working with Wilmott Dixon and Leigh, who has helped us develop this project and bring the Caretaker’s House back into use. It will provide an excellent resource for students to learn important life skills and be independent. We really appreciate what Wilmott Dixon have done.”

st puis school
Diane Keay, Customer Care and Community Manager at Mears and Enterprise Adviser at St Pius, with the school’s Enterprise Coordinator, Jo Burke.

Enterprise Adviser Diane Keay has enjoyed seeing the tangible impact of the focus on careers and enterprise at her partner school, St Pius, in Wath. Two recent developments will help to focus the minds of students and staff on careers and enterprise; with new displays in faculty areas and development time provided for staff.

New displays aim to inform and inspire young people about careers and enterprise opportunities by showing different job opportunities and progression routes linked to subjects.

Diane said: “The boards will help raise the awareness of students about where subjects can take them; the process of creating the boards will have been a useful learning experience for the staff involved too.”

In addition to this, time at a recent in-service training day was committed to discussing and planning how careers and enterprise learning could be developed through subject teaching.

Diane said: “It was a really positive experience. A key part of the session was all staff having an update about the local labour market and the exciting opportunities that are out there for young people. When staff have that knowledge and some time to think about what it means for their students, they can start to develop their own ideas and share those with colleagues and it can grow from there. I’m looking forward to supporting developments over the coming year.”

blatchford enterprise

Pictured left to right are James Graham, Vice Principal at Aston Academy, Sarah Sykes, Careers Adviser at Aston Academy and Marion Billingham, Senior HR Business Partner at Blatchford.

Enterprise Adviser Marion Billingham has been making an impact at her partner school by helping with the school’s work experience programme.

Marion was matched with Aston Academy because of the school’s interest in Blatchford after meeting at a local careers event. So far, Marion and the school have completed their review of careers and enterprise provision and identified immediate actions.

Marion said: “Aston’s team said they are always looking for work experience placements and that is something I felt we could help with to have an immediate impact. As well as being involved at that strategic level, if there is something operational we can do, we want to help. The benefits for the student is that it opens their eyes to career opportunities they may never have previously thought about.There is a shortage of skills in the orthotics industry, so being able to connect with and inspire young people about our industry is important to our business and our industry too.”

Blatchford develops and manufactures orthopaedic products and services which give individuals mobility, function, comfort and style after amputation or other pathology.

Their global network supplies prosthetic and orthotic products based on bio-mimetic design principles which work in synch with the human body.

Sarah Sykes, Careers Adviser at Aston Academy, said: “It is brilliant to be working with Marion and we really appreciate that she has been able to add to our work experience offer for students, they are thrilled with such opportunities.”

Michael Harper, Chief Operating Officer at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, has been appointed as Enterprise Adviser at Tapton School in Sheffield.

Tapton School, rated ‘Outstanding’ by Osfted, caters for over 1,600 students, including a sixth form of over 500. In 2014, Tapton was designated as a National Teaching School.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is one of the UK’s largest and busiest NHS foundation trusts, providing a full range of hospital and community services for people across Sheffield. The trust is one of the region’s largest employers, managing five different hospitals: Northern General Hospital, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Charles Clifford Dental Hospital, Weston Park Cancer Hospital and Jessop Wing Maternity Hospital.

Discussing why he decided to become an Enterprise Adviser, Michael said, ‘It is not something that I would have actively looked to do, but when Enterprise Co-ordinator Liz Yoxall explained the details to me I was keen to get involved. Personally, I never had a career plan and am continually envious of individuals I meet who have always been focussed on a particular career and developed their training and experiences to achieve their goal. This is particularly prevalent in the NHS where we have such a range of jobs, careers and professions – some of which are quite obscure and unusual. As a result, I’m very keen to help young people be exposed to this breadth of careers so they can be aware of the opportunities on offer.’

Michael continued, ‘Sheffield Teaching Hospitals is a huge employer and having the opportunity to support individuals who would like a career in the NHS or with one of the city’s biggest employers feels a real privilege. We are continually recruiting across all professions, and I am hopeful that my role will help identify future employees; be that in the long or short term. There is lots of ongoing discussion about the wants and needs of Generation Z, and I am therefore also interested to hear from students what they are looking for in an employer. Over the next few years we are going to have to think differently about our terms and conditions, recruitment processes and communication with the range of generations that will be employed by us, and I hope hearing this first hand from “tomorrow’s employees” will help us get prepared and be seen to be an “employer of choice” for local students.’

Retired management consultant John Barry Senior has been matched with his former school, High Storrs.

Located in Sheffield, High Storrs School caters for over 1,600 students including a thriving sixth form. The school has an excellent reputation for dance and drama and is internationally renowned for its music provision; in fact, students attending High Storrs are regularly invited to perform at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre.

After a very successful career working as a business consultant on a variety of projects across the world, Barry decided to become self-employed in 2003 and set up the company JSB Consulting.

As an Enterprise Adviser, Barry will work with the senior leadership team at High Storrs to improve upon the careers education and support already available. In June, High Storrs ran a successful careers day where Barry arranged for Hays Estate Agents to run a number of employability workshops. Going forward, plans are in place for mock interviews, employability workshops, workplace visits, enterprise competitions and much more.

Commenting on why he decided to become an Enterprise Adviser, Barry said, ‘Since I retired I have maintained my continuous professional development by doing a small amount of overseas management consultancy and continuing my role as an active member of the CIPD South Yorkshire Committee, as well as running the CIPD South Yorkshire Branch Consultants Network. I have also done a range of projects with Sheffield Hallam University on HR and Organisation Development.’

He continued, ‘When I attended the launch of the Enterprise Adviser Network I was very interested to see how my long experience in consulting and learning and development could be used to assist in closing the gap between academic learning and the world of real work.’

Barry goes on to explain what he sees as the benefits of the programme: ‘Whilst I ran my own consulting business for 10 years, I am no longer an employer; however, I continue to enjoy expanding my knowledge bank. I think the benefits of the programme are feeling that I have helped my old school in a small way, that I have been able to give pupils a better idea about opportunities in the world of work and that I will have been able to get pupils to see that there are a variety of paths to follow to gain useful employment, that going to University isn’t always the best or only option.’

Outwood force 10

Tony Ward, owner and founder of Force 10 Recruitment, has been appointed as Enterprise Adviser at Outwood Academy Adwick in Doncaster.

Graded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in February 2016, Outwood Academy Adwick specialises in the dual subjects of Sport and Science. As part of the Outwood Grange Academies Trust, the school is committed to the vision of its Chief Executive, Sir Michael Wilkins: ‘The whole point of schools is that children come first and everything we do must reflect this single goal.’

Enterprise Adviser Tony Ward brings a wealth of experience to his new role working with the Academy. After 24 years in the Services, latterly as a Royal Logistics Corps Regimental Sergeant Major, followed by two years in civilian life as both an employee and an employer, Tony felt some frustration with the level of service he had experienced from the recruitment industry, on both sides of employment. Thinking he could simply do it better he began on a journey to start his own company and founded Force 10 Recruitment, which specialises in finding employment for ex-Services personnel.

Tony has already completed an induction session at Outwood Academy to orientate him and provide a detailed context about the school community. The session was an opportunity for Tony to gather a clear understanding of how the school works within the multi-academy trust. Through the Enterprise Adviser match, the Academy is planning to benefit from Tony’s links with CareersInc, the independent and impartial careers guidance service which the Academy currently uses to support students. Tony’s input as the school’s Enterprise Adviser will complement what CareersInc do in terms of information, guidance and careers advice.

Discussing why Outwood Academy decided to engage with the Enterprise Adviser Network programme, Carolyn Blundell, Executive Head, said, ‘The role adds a perspective to our Academy provision that will benefit our students and impact positively on their outcomes. Through the network we are hoping improve the links the Academy has to business and we hope it will continue to support us in raising aspirations of our students.’

Careers Enterprise Co 150

Visit The Careers & Enterprise Company website for information about the national programme


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