Business leaders to help shape pupils futures

Business leaders to help shape pupils futures

North East businessman Gary Burton has become the first in a network of Enterprise Advisers, who will be working alongside the senior management teams of schools across the region, to drive the future job prospects of pupils.

The Enterprise Adviser network is being led by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), with the aim of embedding business leaders into secondary schools on a voluntary basis to help teachers shape the delivery of careers education.

Gary, who is managing director of specialist engineering firm Arefco, is the first Enterprise Adviser in the North East, offering his industry expertise as part of the team at the Northumberland Church of England (C of E) Academy’s Ashington campus.

Supporting the school’s senior management team, Gary will bring his extensive industry knowledge to the school, ensuring careers provision for pupils meets business need.

Gary said: “Arefco is involved in the project as a business that cares passionately about putting our combined hundreds of years’ worth of knowledge into giving young people a chance to follow their career of choice.”

Steve Gibson, Northumberland C of E Academy Secondary School Principal, accompanied pupils on a tour of Arefco’s factory. He said: “It is vital for schools to work in partnership with employers to ensure that our young people are fully prepared for their future education and careers.”

A total of 24 schools from Berwick to Durham have signed up to the Enterprise Adviser Network, each to be allocated a volunteer business leader in their area to work with them on careers development. Together, they are looking to refine the way schools and businesses interact, examine their enterprise strategies and fill any gaps.

The North East Enterprise Adviser network is being led by the North East LEP’s Enterprise Co-ordinator, Denis Heaney, who is working to recruit more leading figures from the region’s business community to join the scheme.

Denis explained: “The world of work is changing and this unique programme is an opportunity for businesses like Arefco to be embedded within a school and make a massive difference to students and their future prospects.”

More details on the Enterprise Adviser scheme and how to get involved are available at

If you are a business leader that could inspire a school and its pupils, contact