Wiltshire Council recently celebrated the work of volunteers who help schools bridge the gap between careers lessons and the world of work with an event at Cleeve House, Seend.

The Swindon and Wiltshire Enterprise Adviser Network celebration honoured the inspirational volunteers from businesses and other organisations who work with teachers and students.

EAs offer advice, guidance and practical help on the tricky transition from education to employment. They also help schools connect with local employers by contributing to schools’ careers programmes and nurturing relationships with businesses.

Guests enjoyed refreshments while networking and hearing about the progress of the project over the last year.

The afternoon event ended with mocktails and afternoon tea.

Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for education, said:

This was a great chance to recognise a fabulous project that can make a huge difference for the futures of countless young people in the county.

I know that the advisers themselves get a great deal of satisfaction from their time in schools.

The advisors help to:

  • motivate and inspire young people
  • broaden horizons and inform independent choice
  • raise aspirations and help young people achieve more
  • prepare future employees for the workplace
  • strengthen links between the local business community and schools and colleges

Clusters of schools, colleges and enterprise advisers are supported by a full-time coordinator who brings together the schools, colleges and employers.

The network is run by Wiltshire Council and Swindon Borough Council in partnership with the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

Amanda Burnside, chair of the of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership skills and talent sub-group, said:

Businesses need appropriately skilled and competitive workforces to innovate and grow. As part of their succession planning, employers must look years in advance to prepare for the skills they will lose.

This is a priority for SWLEP and as part of building the pipeline between education and industry, since 2015 we have invested £295,000 in the Enterprise Advisor network so that together we provide the workforce and skills needed now and in the future for strong economic growth.

To volunteer or find out more visit the Work Wiltshire website.

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