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Solent School Pupils Inspired by Local Employers

13 June 2016

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) today (13 June) hosted an event in partnership with EBP South (Education Business Partnership) and The Careers & Enterprise Company to raise the aspirations of Solent school pupils for their futures.

The Solent area played host to the event, called Future Finders, which brought together over 130 school pupils aged 11-13 from around the Solent and gave them the opportunity to meet with over 20 local employers to hear first-hand about the variety of career pathways open to them after leaving education. After a short welcome from the Careers & Enterprise Company and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership each group of pupils took part in the "speed networking" session which allowed them time to ask each business representative questions about their job and what their company does. Employers involved included the likes of the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, Balfour Beatty, Airbus Defence and Space, Bella Crafts and the Solent Hotel, among others. 

The rest of the day saw pupils getting involved in a BAE Systems and RAF roadshow, an educational show that brings together physics and the curriculum, which was followed in the afternoon by a number of workshops focussing on employability and career pathways.

Gary Jeffries, Chairman of the Solent LEP, said:

Much has been achieved in the Solent over the last year, including the investment of £25.9m to support the creation of three world class skills facilities and the establishment of funds to put employers in the driving seat of developing the skilled workforce they need. However, young people are the most important factor in ensuring the development of a world class workforce and we are therefore delighted to be able to work with partners to hold events such as today's Future Finders session to promote the opportunities available after leaving education.

Claudia Harris, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

Today’s event is another example of the commitment of both the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and EBP(Education Business Partnership) South to inspiring local young people to take control of their future careers.  We know from Education and Employers Taskforce research that young people who have multiple encounters with business while at school are significantly less likely to be NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and earn, on average, 18% more than peerswho have not. Today’s event gave over 130 students exposure to over 20 local businesses, enabling them to learn first-hand about the diversity of careers available to them after education. We look forward to continuing to work with both the Solent LEP and EBP South to prepare all young people to fulfil their potential.

Sam Deacon, a pupil at Wildern School, said: 

It's been a really interesting day and we have found out a lot of really useful information. It's been great to hear about what these companies do and it will help us to make decisions about what we want to do when we leave school.

Reuben Brown, another pupil at Wildern School, said: 

Today we've received some helpful information that will really help to influence our decisions on what we do when we leave school. It's been a good chance to get a sense of what these companies do.

During the event the Solent LEP also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with EBP South which agreed that they would work together to improve the quality and effectiveness of engagement between schools and businesses within the Solent area.

Robin Johns, Chair of EBP South’s Board of Trustees, said: 

We are delighted with this agreement with Solent LEP. This builds on EBP South’s strengths in linking business with education and will ensure that more young people across the Solent region have opportunities to find out about the world of work directly from employers.

You can read the Solent LEP and EBP South Memorandum of Understanding here.

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