Introducing The Careers & Enterprise Company, School Award sponsor

We are delighted to introduce The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) as sponsor of the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2019 School Award.

The CEC is the national network set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Their role is to connect schools and colleges, employers and careers programme providers to create high-impact careers opportunities for young people across England.

The School Award winner will be chosen by The CEC from Oxfordshire secondary schools that are engaged in the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN). The award will recognise a school that makes a significant contribution to promoting Apprenticeships to students and their parents and carers as a viable and credible post-16 option, as part of a wide ranging and inclusive careers programme. This includes engaging with business to give students the opportunity to learn about Apprenticeships through meaningful encounters with Apprenticeship employers and their Apprentices.

Apprentices are a fantastic way to link schools with businesses through young people that students can relate to and see as achievable role models. The awards provide a fantastic opportunity to recruit new Apprentices into OxLEP’s Apprenticeship Ambassador scheme, including last year’s Apprentice of the Year winner Katie Chegwin, who has recently completed a Higher Apprenticeship with the University of Oxford. The Ambassadors get involved with initiatives in schools across the county, supporting the aims of the CEC. Katie says: “I am excited to share my stories to help inspire the next generation with their future careers.”

The CEC is always looking for innovative ways to reach out to employers and encourage them to get involved. Through sponsoring this award, The CEC will have the opportunity to raise awareness of this work with Apprenticeship employers across the county, who already have the future of young people at their heart. This includes sharing good practice with businesses and demonstrating the benefits that working with schools can bring, such as developing a pipeline of future talent and of course, the feel-good factor.

The School Award provides The CEC with an opportunity to champion the winner and finalists and share their examples of good practice with other schools to encourage and inspire them to try new initiatives.

Kerry Senatore, Regional Lead for the Thames Valley says: “It is so important that our young people are able to fully understand all their options and possible career pathways. This is a brilliant opportunity to highlight the good work of schools and employers in Oxfordshire and share best practice."

About the Enterprise Adviser Network

Enterprise Advisers are volunteers from business who use their knowledge of the local business landscape to support a school or college to develop an effective careers plan and to create opportunities for students with their business contacts in the area.

They are supported by Enterprise Coordinators, jointly funded by OxLEP and The Careers & Enterprise Company, who match each Enterprise Adviser with a school or college in the Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) and facilitate careers and enterprise activities.

In Oxfordshire, 40 schools and colleges are now part of the Enterprise Adviser Network and 36 Enterprise Advisers are matched to them.

The Government’s Careers Strategy was published in December 2017, followed by statutory guidance for schools and colleges in early 2018. The Strategy is built around Gatsby Benchmarks, a framework of 8 guidelines about what makes the best careers provision in schools and colleges. EAN activity looks to help the schools and colleges to meet Gatsy benchmarks 5 and 6, which relate to workplace and employer encounters and experiences.

The Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards 2019 are open for entries and nominations until midnight on Friday 25th January. See the Awards page for details. Join us for Oxfordshire Apprenticeships Hour (#OAHour) from 1pm every Thursday for latest on the Awards and join in the conversation using the hashtag #OAAwards2019.