East Sussex County Council (ESCC) are focused on investing in the future of young people. The East Sussex Careers Hub forms part of their commitment to bridging the skills gap and are working with businesses on a mission to motivate and inspire young people to follow their career path and build their best future.
You can either sit on the sidelines worrying about the lack of young people coming into your industry. Or, you can do something about itScott MonkManaging Director of G M Monk
The programme delivered by ESCC aims to improve careers advice and support for students across East Sussex and is celebrating a successful first year helping schools and colleges meet the eight benchmarks of world-class careers education (The Gatsby Benchmarks) as more and more businesses join the initiative.
The Careers Hub launched in 2018 as one of 20 pilots across the country as part of a government strategy to boost employment and improve careers advice. Every young person needs quality career guidance as a vehicle for social justice, giving those without social capital or home support the right encouragement to boost self-confidence, work skills and knowledge to help them see and pursue a bright and successful future.
Linking secondary schools, special needs schools and colleges with employers, education providers and universities, work-experience participation is already on the rise by more than 9% since the previous academic year. As a further measure of the Hub’s success, the County Council is the only local authority to have been awarded funding that has enabled them to secure the appointment of a Special Educational Needs Enterprise Co-ordinator to improve outcomes and aspirations of young people with special needs
The Careers Hub has been invaluable in giving students a head start with their future careers and we are extremely proud of its success.Cllr Bob Standley ESCC
In its first year, the Hub has been responsible for significant improvements in careers support and employability in the county with successful projects and work experience opportunities.Cllr Bob Standley ESCC
Among the many companies involved in the scheme is Eastbourne-based electrical company, G M Monk. The firm has been working closely with Hailsham Community College and other local schools to support students to think proactively about their next steps. Managing Director, Scott Monk, says:
“You can either sit on the sidelines worrying about the lack of young people coming into your industry. Or, you can do something about it”
“We’ve been involved in the Open Doors project, Industry Champion scheme, Apprenticeship Roadshows, career events as well as helping students to prepare for interviews.”
As part of The Careers Hub’s objectives, The Open Doors scheme took more than 550 students to visit 48 businesses to experience a working day first-hand. In an extension of this, 120 year 9 pupils from Hastings schools travelled to Canary Wharf where they were hosted by some of the world’s biggest multinationals, including Cita Bank, ANZ Bank, Clearstream, Fitch Ratings and Barclays.
Another example is the national ‘Give an Hour’ campaign, which resulted in more East Sussex businesses participating than any other area outside London. The initiative encouraged people to share their unique industry knowledge and experience as someone who owns or works for an SME to make a difference to the options a young person considers for their careers. The campaign helps give young people the skills and knowledge that they need whilst also potentially finding new recruits for businesses and boosting employment.
The county now has 130 Industry Champions from businesses who have committed to visiting schools to take part in mock interviews, deliver careers talk and activities. Furthermore, Apprenticeship Roadshows have enabled over 560 young people and parents/carers to meet with employers and training providers who offer apprenticeships.
Scott Monk urges fellow employers in East Sussex to get involved and come together to help shape the future leaders in the local community and says “It doesn’t have to take up a huge amount of your time. But it could make a big difference to young people and your industry in the future.”
More information about how businesses can work with schools through the Careers Hub is available by emailing EnterpriseCoordinator@eastsussex.gov.uk