Employers and Volunteers get involved

Have you ever thought about how you could use your business skills to support your local school or college and inspire the talent pipeline? Perhaps you or your company want to give something back to your local community?

Become an Enterprise Adviser

Through the Enterprise Adviser Network the Solent LEP links Enterprise Adviser volunteers with one school or college based in the Solent. This Enterprise Adviser works with senior leaders and careers leads to support them to ensure their school is connected to the world of work; they help to bridge the gap between the world of work and education by advising on employer expectations and creating opportunities for young people.

Click here to find out more.

Become a Cornerstone Employer

Working with our Careers Hub team, Cornerstone Employers build on their existing commitment to support young people by working with a small number of like-minded local businesses to ensure young people have access to the career opportunities they need and help to develop the future talent pipeline.

There are currently over 200 Cornerstone Employers across the country made up of SMEs, large employers, Government, private and not for profits from a range of different sectors.

Why become a Cornerstone employer?

  • support the growth of your local economy and give back to your community
  • work with, and learn from, like-minded employers across various sectors
  • take a needs-based approach and direct resources where support is most needed
  • increase your organisation’s understanding of the world of education and the needs of young people
  • diversify your talent pipeline and support social mobility.

Contact us to discuss becoming a Cornerstone employer in the Solent region and help shape the workforce of the future.

Learn more about the national Cornerstone employer campaign.

Volunteer as a School Governor

Being a school Governor is a challenging but rewarding role allowing you to make a real difference to young people and also provide a strong link between the school and the local community.

By using and developing your skills in a board-level environment, schools benefit from having a range of professional knowledge on their Governing Body including finance, legal, human resources, marketing and public relations, property management and organisational change.

Anyone aged over 18 can be a Governor, you do not need to be a parent or have an understanding of the education system, just the necessary skills, character and time to contribute. School Governors typically attend between 6 and 12 meetings per year, as well as making school visits and finding time for background reading and training.


  • Use their own experience of education and life beyond school to inform conversations
  • Develop and use their skills in a board-level environment
  • Make a valuable contribution to education and the community
  • Support and challenge the school to improve outcomes for students and staff
  • Bring unique experiences, perspective and insight to help make decisions in the interests of the school community.

Governors set the aims and objectives for the school, or group of schools, and set policies and targets for achieving those aims and objectives.

They monitor and evaluate the progress the school is making and act as a ‘critical firend’ and as support to the Head teacher, including:

  • Managing budgets and deciding how money is spent
  • Engaging with students, staff, parents and the school community
  • Sitting on panels and committees, making decisions about student exclusions and staff disciplinary procedures
  • Addressing a range of education issues within the school including disadvantaged students and those with additional needs, staff workload and teacher recruitment
  • Looking at data and evidence to ask questions, and have challenging conversations about the school
  • Appointing and reviewing the performance of the head teacher and senior leaders, including making decisions about pay.

For information about becoming a School Governor in Portsmouth, see Hive Portsmouth and use the keyword ‘governor’ to find opportunities in the city.

For Governor vacancies across the rest of the Solent region, see Hampshire County Council.

Becoming a Mentor

If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, email the Solent LEP Careers and Skills team.

Mentors need to be:

  • Committed and reliable
  • Able to relate to young people
  • Good at working through problems
  • Able to listen and communicate well
  • Able to provide insight

A number of organisations offer mentoring activities to schools, either free of charge or at a cost, to improve students' aspirations, attendance and confidence. Mentors come from a range of industries and backgrounds and are given training before being matched with a young person. Potential Mentors will be required to have a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to show details of any convictions, cautions or information relevant to working with children.

Organisations offering mentoring opportunities in the Solent region include:

Can you offer Work Experience to a young person?

We can signpost you to resources to make offering work experience easy, effective and worthwhile.

This step by step Guide for Employers (Link: https://wex.careersandenterprise.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CEC-Introduction-v7.pdf ) explains how you can offer young people experience of your workplace.

There are many ways to deliver an experience of the workplace for young people, in addition to a work experience placement.

Add content, create guide for offering VWEX in the Solent. Create guide for WEX in the Solent, similar to the North East Ambition WEX framework with 12 modules.

Day 1

  • Intro to organisation
  • Ethos/sector/what the business does/how/markets etc
  • Lunch
  • Introduce challenge/problem/task
Day 2

  • Meet other staff
  • Projects/departments/skills/tech
  • Lunch
  • Project time
Day 3

  • Project time
  • Lunch
  • Presentations - students share projects and learning
  • Employer feedback (include evaluation time to see impact)

T level Industry Placements

Offer T Level industry placements including webinars and workshops, toolkits and case studies can be found here. Employers can also access support by email, 1:1 phone calls or online group sessions.

Other ways to get involved

If you would like to volunteer your time occasionally to support local events such as mock interviews, industry insight days or speed networking events in schools or colleges, please email us.

We can also help you find out more about work placements or traineeships or apprenticeships.

Solent Partners

We have moved - visit our new website www.solentpartners.com