GFirst LEP launches Careers Hub
By Sarah Wood
GFirst LEP has launched a Careers Hub for Gloucestershire, bringing together schools and colleges with employers in all sectors from across the county.
In an online launch this morning (18th November), a range of speakers introduced the Hub, its aims and what it has to offer.
Speakers included Diane Savory OBE DL (Chair of GFirst LEP), David Owen (Chief Executive of GFirst LEP), Clare Hutchinson (The Careers and Enterprise Company), Andy Barnard (Ribston Hall), Nicola Bird (KW Bell) and enterprise advisers Debra Pitchford and Ciara Aspinall.
Talking about the Hub, young people and the pandemic, a spokesperson for the Hub said: "This can' t be a lost generation, we can't let that happen. It has never been more important to get this right."
The Careers Hub, facilitated by GFirst LEP, is a collaboration between schools, colleges and businesses in the county, bringing them all together to learn from each other, with young people at the heart of everything. Forty-three schools and colleges in the county have already signed up to be a part of the Careers Hub.
David Owen said: "Young people are the workforce of the future. They need the right advice and guidance and opportunities for really positive careers. If we get it right, we change lives.
"There are so many opportunities in Gloucestershire that people don't realise are there. The long-term future of the county is really positive. There's a lot happening in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud, with a real range of opportunities out there.
"We're not just giving young people the key, we're showing them how to unlock the door."
In response to Covid-19, Diane Savory said: "Some companies are turning their businesses around, they may need a changed skillset. We're very lucky to have opportunities around cyber - a new sector.
"A big part of the Careers Hub is to help people to see the opportunities."
A Careers Hub spokesperson added: "Schools don't have time to dig out the companies, companies don't have the time to access schools and students. There are hidden gems in the county and hidden jobs. This is an opportunity to showcase what's out there.
"Careers advice and strategy in schools hadn't really changed in 20-30 years. There are more pathways now. A lot of businesses need to take that on board - how are they going to attract young people?
"It makes no sense for businesses not to link with schools. We can all learn from each other."
The Careers Hub is made up of a number of key elements, including:
- Enterprise advisers - volunteers from business, who are all matched with a school to support it. They can work in a hands-on way, bring the curriculum to life and use their experience in work to help develop a strategic plan for the school.
- Careers leaders in schools and colleges are the people the Hub links with every day. They would like to see a joined-up approach for all schools across the county, including networking opportunities, knowledge of apprenticeship opportunities in rural areas and good relationships with local businesses.
- Lead school - demonstrating best practice to other schools in the Hub and supporting them to identify opportunities and share knowledge.
- Cornerstone employers - organisations which have demonstrated how they've already worked with schools and have found ways to bridge the gap between business and education.
For further information about the Careers Hub, the role of enterprise advisers, and how to provide support for local schools and colleges, email the team on firstname.lastname@example.org
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