Lancashire businesses asked to give up an hour to help put pupils on the right career path

Pupils from Corpus Christi Catholic High School in Preston are benefiting form careers advice from local industry
Pupils from Corpus Christi Catholic High School in Preston are benefiting form careers advice from local industry

A campaign has been launched to try it get business leaders more involved in careers education.

The Give and Hour project has been launched by The Careers and Enterprise Company (C&EC) in conjunction with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

The aim is to increase the number of businesses engaging with schools and colleges across the county to help youngsters make more informed career choices when they leave school.

LEP Board Director for Skills and Technical Education, Nelson and Colne College principal, Amanda Melton, said: "We’re asking people who work in small and medium enterprises to give up an hour of their time to tell young people what the world of work is really like.

"We’re looking for anything from a single hour in total to an hour a week and there are lots of ways to get involved, depending on what suits participants.

"Hearing from local SMEs is proven to help young people in their careers and boost their employability. But it will also benefit businesses too, making it easier for them to recruit in the future."

Stuart Graham,senior enterprise co-ordinator with Inspira added: "Not only is it proven to be beneficial for a young person to have strong links with local businesses, it also makes perfect sense for employers.

"Recruiting talented individuals is critical for any organisation, so why would you not want to be involved in a school that has direct access to the very candidates that at some point you’ll be looking to attract?"

Along with the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, the C&EC also funds the Enterprise Adviser Network and The Careers Hub in Lancashire, both of which are delivered by Inspira.

Madeleine Melling, a marketing and pub;ic relations officer for the Innovation Lab at UCLan, is an Enterprise Adviser working with Corpus Christi High School in Preston.

She said: “Having businesses so closely involved in the design and direct delivery of careers education lessons in schools brings the local labour market to life and exposes young people to career and employment options they may not have otherwise considered."

“This is a great opportunity for the local business community to help prepare young people for the world of work, raise their aspirations and bring their school subjects to life.

Gary Wood, careers and aspirations lead at the Fulwood school, said: “Pupils at Corpus Christi are benefiting from strong links with local and national industry that are helping them to acquire important personal and work-related skills.

“The school recognises that in an increasingly competitive jobs market, collaboration and partnerships are vital in making sure that pupils have the best possible opportunities to understand and engage with the future world of work. The careers programme was one of the many areas praised by Ofsted when the school was inspected in February.”