Enterprise Adviser Case Study: David Rowlands, CITB
The Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) is a national initiative that connects schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers; and is based on evidence that if a young person has four or more encounters with an employer, they are 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training.
David Rowlands – Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Advisor for Cheshire & Warrington
Why did you decide to get involved in the SAGC Enterprise Adviser Network?
The construction industry as a sector has an ageing workforce which is resulting in a real skills shortage for projects to be completed. Construction is a varied industry and employs around 2.5 million people in the UK – that means that one in every ten jobs is in construction. There is a variety of construction jobs to choose from, construction project management to craft-based roles. You could be based in an office, on-site or in a workshop – in the UK or working on construction jobs abroad. The wide range of roles and career progression opportunities within construction need to be shared with the next generation of construction workers.
Why do you think it is important to work with schools to increase local business involvement in careers education for young people?
Local schools can provide a talent pipeline for businesses in the area. The more interaction a business has with a school the more opportunities arise to offer benefits to both parties. This could be to offer work experience/placements that mature into full time roles. The more opportunities that a student has to sample and experience as many sectors as possible will provide them with a more informed chance of choosing a career that they will become successful in, rather than moving in and out of sectors within their career. I think it is also really important that young people have a meaningful introduction into working life; the more exposure they have to this the better the transition will be.
What are you most looking forward to in the programme?
I am looking forward to working with the schools and adding value to the events they have planned for the academic year. We have discussed activities that will provide students with the ability to learn about different careers. I am really excited to see how these ideas develop and morph into careers guidance. I am also looking forward to working alongside other advisors and work together to develop best practice. It is very exciting to have the ability to draw on a raft of different sector specialists and work together to add value to all of schools engaged in the programme.
What does being an EA involve?
Working with a dedicated member of staff at Sandbach School we have developed a close working relationship discussing various events and activities for students to explore and sample various industries and careers within them. We have met with students and undertaken a focus group to understand what they are looking for in career guidance and engagement. I dedicate a day a month to provide support; this could be one full day or a few hours spread throughout the month, this helps focus the activities that we are planning.