Businesses volunteering free time to improve schoolchildren’s employability and career prospects, through a joint D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership and Government Careers & Enterprise Company initiative, have been recognised at an event.

Around 70 Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire business leaders have so far been matched with schools in their area, as part of the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN). Business leaders volunteer their skills and knowledge, and use their connections, to help schools introduce pupils to possible career paths, through a programme of talks and outside visits; aiding young people in choosing a career and companies to foster skills needed in their workforces, boosting the local economy.

Seven Enterprise Co-ordinators, employed via D2N2, work across its area to link the schools and business volunteers. More information can be found here.

D2N2 – the private sector-led Partnership which promotes economic and jobs growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – and the Government-backed Careers & Enterprise Company have jointly invested £300,000 in the D2N2 Employability Framework and its Enterprise Adviser network.

The first D2N2 Enterprise Adviser Network Annual Conference was held on Thursday night (November 23) at the Jurys Inn Hotel, East Midlands Airport, Castle Donington, to recognise the success of the EAN and to hear insights from existing Enterprise Advisers Martin Care of Bombardier and Cham Kang of Qinesis.

Delegates heard from speakers including:

David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership;
Ian Greenaway, D2N2 LEP Employability Champion and Managing Director of MTM Products of Chesterfield;
Will Morlidge of the Careers & Enterprise Company;
Berni Dickinson, D2N2 Enterprise Coordinator (for Ashfield and Mansfield in Nottinghamshire), and Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at educational trust Evolve of Mansfield.

The audience also watched a new video, featuring businesses and schools talking about how the Enterprise Adviser Network had benefited them. It can be watched below, or on the D2N2 LEP YouTube channel.

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D2N2’s vision is to match Enterprise Advisers to all schools, specialist schools and colleges across its area.

Katrina Woodward, D2N2 Commissioning Manager for Skills and Employability, said: “The Enterprise Adviser Network has been a great success and we are looking to do more. Both businesses and schools say how rewarding they have found getting involved.

“Our first Annual Conference was a great way to say ‘thank you’ to those who’ve given up their time for free to make this initiative work.”

For more information about the D2N2 Enterprise Adviser Network, or to register an interest in joining or find contact details for your area’s Enterprise Coordinator, go to web link

The Employability Framework, launched by D2N2 in 2015, is a shared language between young people and business and represents ten goals for young people to aspire to in readiness for the world of work. The Framework is being delivered in the D2N2 area through the Enterprise Adviser Network.

The work of Enterprise Coordinators and the Enterprise Adviser Network is overseen by the D2N2 Skills and Employment Commission, to ensure they’re having an impact on helping young people with career ambitions and meeting targets.