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willows and sheila

The Willows Special School in Rotherham has been matched with Shelia Quairney, former Head of Enterprise at Sheffield Hallam University and now an Enterprise Adviser.

Shelia says, ‘I’ve always supported enterprise in my job, especially when I was working for Sheffield Hallam, and I wanted to extend this and start working in schools. We’d done a community project with schools working with social enterprises and I saw the potential; I just thought it was a shame there wasn’t more effort being put into enterprise.’

Although the match is only recent, Shelia is already getting stuck in and is extremely impressed with what the Willows already does around employability. All students who attend the school have some kind of work experience before they leave. Rachael Booth, Assistant Head at the Willows, said, ‘It’s about concentrating on what our students can do, not what they can’t.’

Shelia continues, ‘Because of this attitude, I find volunteering as an Enterprise Adviser very enthusing and energising; I can see the difference work experience has made to the students at the Willows. It’s great to feel that your part of something that’s making such a difference.’

One of the placements the Willows has to offer students is one week’s work experience at The Brecks Beefeater pub in Rotherham. Students have the opportunity to have a go at all kinds of front-of-house and back-of-house work during their placement. General Manager at The Brecks, Helen Sandserson, couldn’t be happier with how the placements are going, commenting, ‘It’s brilliant to see the students develop over the course of the week – they become so much more confident and outgoing that they are taking over the place by Friday! It also really benefits my team and develops their training and communication skills. Sometimes the staff are a bit apprehensive about working with the students, but the youngsters’ enthusiasm and hard work soon allay their concerns.’

She continues, ‘And the guests love seeing them wait on tables and showing what they can achieve. It’s great for the Brecks’ profile in the local community too.”

Students on the placements have impressed guests so much, one guest even left the restaurant and returned with a bar of chocolate to thank one Willows student, not to mention the many complimentary emails the management receive from guests about the students.

For one Brecks employee, his career started while on placement from The Willows. After finishing school, Alex Jessop gained qualifications in cookery and food hygiene and now five years later he has returned to work full time at The Brecks. He said, ‘The work experience really helped my confidence, and I love working here with such a friendly team.’

Sheila is looking forward to working with The Willows to continue and add to the great work they already do. She is also planning to take on responsibility for managing PR, sending out press releases to local newspapers and contacting the owners of The Brecks to let them know the great work their employees are doing with these students.


ean 1 year

On Tuesday 5th July, schools, colleges and Enterprise Advisers were invited to attend the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Adviser Network’s last networking and celebration event of the academic year. The event, held at the AMRC Training Centre, marked the project reaching its target of engaging with 80 schools, colleges and business from across the region.

Mike Garnock-Jones, Chair of the SCR Enterprise Adviser Network steering group, opened the event thanking all those who had engaged in the programme and congratulating the region on its success. He reiterated the importance of the project and its aim to improve careers guidance and employability skills.

The Careers and Enterprise company is the national coordinator of the scheme and CEO Claudia Harris had travelled from London to speak at the event. Whilst presenting to the attendees, she said, ‘It’s amazing to meet so many dedicated people, this really is both a celebration and a thank you. We are all here to work to solve the same problem and we would like you to work with us, the Careers and Enterprise company, to do this. What’s happened in Sheffield is amazing, it’s a testament to the Enterprise Coordinators and to all of you – you really are delivering!’

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair of the Sheffield City Region LEP, also attended the event. He stressed the importance of employability skills and how these skills are an opportunity for economic growth, further reinforcing the importance of the programme for the economic growth of the region as a whole. He said, ‘This programme is vitally important and personally dear to my heart, the number one thing businesses ask is what are we doing around employability and this programme is one part of the work we are doing. It’s about young people and making sure they get the best employability education they can.’

As the event was to celebrate the matches made across the region, Nick Bowen, from Horizon Community College Barnsley, which is matched with Adeana Raper, Community Engagement Manager at Henry Boot, was the next to speak: ‘I realised early on in my career that businesses really wanted to work with schools and schools really wanted to work with businesses. In 2012, when Holgate School and The Kingstone School merged to create Horizon Community College, I appointed three key members of staff, including a Community Enterprise Coordinator, to work with local businesses and create links to allow us to deliver fantastic careers education. The Enterprise Adviser programme is an extension of this.

‘Our young people can relate to Henry Boot as there’s lots of construction going on in Barnsley and they see the name. It’s great that our Adviser, Adeana Raper, is a woman in construction, it’s inspiring many of our female students to look into construction as a career path.’

The event also served as an opportunity for Sonia Hardwick, Partnership Coordinator at Prospects, to launch a new local labour market information tool for schools and colleges, which has been created in partnership with the SCR Enterprise Adviser Network.

If you are interested in getting involved in the SCR Enterprise Adviser network or would like any further information, please click here to contact your local Enterprise Coordinator.


Julia Muir from Gaia Innovation has been matched with Darton College in Barnsley.

Darton is a popular and vibrant 11-16 school which serves the communities of Darton and Kexborough, catering for 1,000 students. The school’s state-of-the-art new building was opened in 2011 with excellent sports and performance facilities alongside modern science labs.

Gaia Innovation, founded in 2015 by Julia Muir, works to create a pipeline of talented people ready to start in digital roles within the automotive industry. Julia is also founder of the UK Automotive 30% Club, a group of progressive, forward-thinking directors who aim to fill 30% of key leadership positions in the automotive industry with talented women. As Darton’s Enterprise Adviser, Julia will work with the senior leadership team to improve careers guidance within the school.

Julia said, ‘Gaia Innovation makes links between employers and schools in order to try and create a talent pipeline for the future, so the Careers and Enterprise Company offering this opportunity to become an Enterprise Adviser fits exactly with what we already do and with our philosophy: To inspire young people and inform them of the careers available, whilst helping to improve their employability skills and extend their abilities through work placements. All the frameworks the Enterprise Adviser Network uses work with our philosophy and with the automotive employers we work with, including local car dealership employer Burrows Toyota.’

Discussing the benefits to both the company and Darton College, Julia continued, ‘This opportunity has given us a chance to further inspire and inform young people of careers available. We’ll be able to give the school the chance to meet people in an industry that employers over 770,000 people in the UK. We’re a single connection that can arrange visits to the employers and bring inspirational speakers into school.’


head girl r2Pictured left to right are Rachel Mullins, Anne Peat and John Hall.

Emeritus Professor Anne Peat has returned to the school where she used to be Head Girl to volunteer as an Enterprise Adviser.

Anne asked to be matched with her former school, Rawmarsh Community School, much to the delight of Rachel Mullins, Careers lead at the school, and deputy head teacher John Hall.

Anne is the former Pro Vice Chancellor of Teaching and Learning at the University of Sheffield, and was Dean of the School of Nursing and Midwifery for many years. She is very interested in the development of Apprenticeship training and chaired the steering group at the University whose task it was to develop Higher Apprenticeships . Anne is also Vice Chair of the Rotherham Employment and Skills Advisory Group.

Anne, Rachel and John have already completed their review and are planning how to involve more employers in the school’s careers and enterprise activities.

Anne said: “I was impressed by how much Rachel already does in school, there’s certainly lots happening. We are all keen to just get as many employers in to add value to that activity, and to inspire and inform young people in Rawmarsh about the range of opportunities that are out there.”

Anne admitted it was a strange feeling being back in the school after so many years but said: “I’m thrilled to be volunteering with Rawmarsh and to have the chance to give something back.”


Adeana

Adeana Raper, Employment and Skills Manager at Henry Boot has been matched with Horizon Community College in Barnsley as part of the region’s rapidly growing Enterprise Adviser Network.

Henry Boot PLC, established over 125 years ago, is one of the UK's leading and long-standing property investment and development, land development and construction companies, with its head office based in Sheffield.

Horizon Community College already has significant links with local employers, along with a strong focus on delivering high quality careers education to give students the best start in the world of work.

Nick Bowen, Headteacher, said ‘I realised early on in my career that businesses really wanted to work with schools and schools really wanted to work with businesses. In 2012, when Holgate School and The Kingstone School merged to create Horizon Community College, I appointed three key staff, including a Community Enterprise Coordinator to work with local businesses and create links to allow us to deliver fantastic careers education. The Enterprise Adviser programme is just an extension of this.

‘Our young people can relate to Henry Boot as there’s lots of construction going on in Barnsley and they see the name. It’s great that our Adviser, Adeana Raper, is a woman in construction, it’s inspiring many of our female students to look into construction as a career path.’

Adeana said: ‘Schools often have misperceptions about the construction sector. They assume it’s a low-skilled industry. In practice, there are jobs for all levels and the industry needs young people who are disciplined and motivated, with drive and ambition.’

She added: ‘We want to see young people who have the confidence to realise their potential. What excites me about this opportunity is that it’s strategic, working with the Headteacher and senior leadership team to change perceptions.’


jen john NESA 002

Wath Comprehensive School has scored two ‘firsts’, being the first school and having the first teacher to achieve new enterprise awards in Yorkshire.

The school has recently achieved NESA (The National Enterprise School Award) and the school’s Enterprise Coordinator and languages teacher, Jen Wall, has achieved NETA (The National Enterprise Teacher Award).

The school is part of the Enterprise Adviser Network and started undertaking the quality awards as part of their strategy to develop and quality assure their provision.

John Marsden, Head of Careers, said: “It’s important to us that young people at Wath have a range of enterprise learning opportunities, inside and outside of the curriculum, that support them to develop the skills and qualities needed in the world of work and business and to inspire them about careers and industries in the region. Achieving these two awards is not only fantastic recognition for our approach in school and Jen’s hard work personally, it has also been a valuable process which has supported us to reflect on where we are, and plan for the future.”

Gary Durbin, Head of ‘Enterprise Village’ and developer of the national awards said: “The submissions were really strong and demonstrated the breadth and depth of what was being achieved in terms of enterprise practice and provision.”

Wath’s Enterprise Adviser, Jo Hanman from Capita, said: “It’s great news for the school, and important for the students, staff and community to know that what’s being developed is really good quality. It’s a proud moment that they’re the first in Yorkshire to get both awards!”


Careers Enterprise Co 150

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

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