Introducing The Careers & Enterprise Company


The Careers & Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation that has been set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. It is looking to help bridge the gap between the worlds of education and employment.

The Careers & Enterprise Company was incorporated in February 2015. It is a community interest company and independent of government.  Its four core principals are:

  1. Test, learn and adapt
  2. Build on what works
  3. Work nationally, tailor locally
  4. Enable & convene the best programmes

The company is committed to being evidence-based, building on ‘what works’, and taking a realistic view of regional variations in the careers, enterprise and employment landscape, adapting it’s approach as required.

Only a few years ago the definition of a small firm  was one employing fewer than 500: today 95.5% of firms in this country employ fewer than ten. The skills sought by large companies, invariably process-driven, were in those days typified by team sports and conformity and that is what the school system was encouraged to deliver. The world of those now leaving education will be one in which self-reliance and creativity will be rewarded and the education system will have to adapt.

Enterprise Advisers will be volunteers from the world of work. They will work directly with school and college leaders, they will be responsible for helping schools and colleges build careers and enterprise employer engagement plans drawing on their own local business networks.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company comments: ” The world of work is changing fast and equipping young people requires ever closer engagement between employment and education. Young people need to be inspired, helped to better understand the relevance of their education, and supported in making independent and fact-based decisions about their futures. Direct exposure to employers and the self-employed is key. It supports learning by doing and experiencing.”

“Our role is to shine a light on many excellent schemes that exist today, fills gaps and improve coverage. The Enterprise Adviser network will allow us to do this, helping schools connect more smoothly to the many excellent employer-engagement schemes that already exist, and increasing engagement where today it is limited. Success for us is that the best schemes are supported and enabled, school and college leaders find it easier to connect to the world of work, and young people across the country get access to these opportunities.”

Every Local Enterprise Partnership in the country has expressed interest in this network. 28 areas will launch in September with a second wave starting before Christmas and a third in early 2016.

The Careers & Enterprise Company work covers the following areas:

  1. Enterprise Adviser Network: A network of Enterprise Advisers working directly with leadership of individual schools and colleges to develop effective employer engagement programmes. Enterprise Advisers are volunteers from the world of work (businesses and the public sector, organisations of all sizes including the self-employed) and work one-to-one with schools and colleges. Clusters of 20 schools and colleges are supported by a full time Coordinator.
  2. Investment Fund: An Investment Fund to scale good ideas and fill gaps in provision.
  3. Enterprise Passport: A digital passport to help young people broaden their experience and showcase their extracurricular experiences and wider skills.
  4. Research: The development and dissemination of a fact base around ‘what works’ to help schools and employers prioritise activity and maximise impact.

Leading providers have welcomed the initiative to ‘join the dots’ and increase coverage in careers and enterprise provision.

“Through the LifeSkills programme we have experienced the benefits of teachers and businesses working together, young people feel more inspired and confident about entering the world of work;” says Kirstie Mackey, Director of LifeSkills created with Barclays.

Inspira is currently investigating potential opportunities to work with the Careers & Enterprise Company.

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