Bringing the region's technology sector closer to young people

Bringing the region's technology sector closer to young people

Karen Marshall, apprentice engagement and education lead at Accenture, is one of the first of a cohort of North East Enterprise Advisers to take up voluntary roles within the region’s secondary schools.

Karen, who is responsible for overseeing the progress of Accenture’s own apprentices, will now also work alongside the management team of Churchill Community College in Wallsend, helping to embed careers guidance into the curriculum and strengthening links between the school and the business sector.

“This is a really good opportunity as a business for us to have an impact on young people, helping both them and the technology sector in the North East,” said Karen. “There are opportunities available in the sector and we want to make those more visible to young people.”

The Enterprise Adviser scheme allows business leaders to work with schools in a planned and strategic way, providing sector expertise, ensuring that careers provision for pupils aligns with skills which are required in the workplace, and helping young people to see how what they are learning will apply in the workplace.

“Part of my role at Accenture is to reach out to young people on behalf of the digital sector in the North East,” said Karen. “As an Enterprise Adviser I’ll be working with teachers to support pupils’ choices and help them to understand the progression routes available to them, whether that’s through further study, apprenticeships or jobs.

“The Enterprise Adviser programme allows us to do this in a more structured way, working together to have more impact.”

Since Karen has taken up her role with Churchill Community College, teachers from the school have already visited the Accenture site and planning is underway for a number of events, including mock assessment centres for pupils, to prepare them for the challenges they might face when applying for work or further education.

“We know how important employer-student engagement is and this is a good way for companies to get involved, especially if they haven’t worked in this area before, as there is a framework and a support network around the Enterprise Adviser programme,” added Karen.

The North East Enterprise Adviser scheme is led by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and aims to place business leaders within schools’ senior management teams across the region.

The North East LEP has already paired a number of business people with school management teams and is now seeking more Enterprise Advisers to work with schools located all across the North East, from Berwick to Durham, inspiring and motivating the next generation and using their business knowledge to help embed careers development, enterprise and employer engagement into the curriculum.

More details on the Enterprise Adviser scheme and how to apply can be found at www.northeastlep.co.uk