Still time to sign up to Enterprise Adviser Network

22nd June, 2016
A new project, designed to encourage greater links between schools and local businesses, has recruited 24 volunteer business mentors across Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.

The Enterprise Adviser Service matches volunteers from businesses with schools, to share their knowledge and to improve the careers advice and guidance available to young people.

Although the official closing date has now passed, businesses are still being encouraged to get in touch, as the ultimate aim is roll out the project to all schools as additional funding becomes available. Initially the project, which was launched in March 2016, will run in 36 schools across the Heart of the South West area.

The campaign launched last month has successfully recruited business mentors across most of the areas, although work to recruit businesses in Somerset is continuing. Work is now taking place to match the newly appointed advisers with individual schools, ready for work to begin in September.

Commissioned by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership (HotSW LEP), in conjunction with the four upper tier local authorities, the Enterprise Adviser Service encourages employers and schools to work together to support young people in making informed choices about their future careers.

Schools will be matched with a volunteer employer for at least one year, to share their knowledge and to improve the careers advice and guidance available to young people. The volunteer experts will help the school identify new ideas and a bespoke action plan will be put into place.

Stephen Criddle, Chair of the Enterprise Adviser Steering Group, Principal of South Devon College and HotSW LEP Board Member said: “We’ve had a fantastic start to the programme by recruiting 24 business advisers to date and signing up 36 schools across the area. Research has shown that young people who have contact with employers whilst at school and it is encouraging to see so many businesses keen to take part.”

Steve Hindley, Chair of the Heart of the South West LEP, said: “The Enterprise Adviser Service is an important project that will help young people make informed choices about their careers and qualifications.

“I would like to say thank you to all the leading business experts who have signed up to the service so far and I hope that more employers are willing to volunteer some of their time to help deliver this important new service.”

CSW Group is contracted to provide the service, which is being funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company, Devon County Council, Somerset County Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Development Agency.

To find out more and to apply, please visit