Pairing scheme linking schools and businesses across South Yorkshire forges ahead

Adeana Raper
Adeana Raper
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Fifty matches have been made within a scheme that matches volunteers from the business world with schools and colleges, to the benefit of students.

Pairings within the Sheffield City Region are made through the Enterprise Adviser Network programme. Its target is to match 80 employers with 80 schools and colleges in a bid to , promote skills needed by the workforce of the future.

The idea is to have a volunteer enterprise adviser within every secondary and special school and college in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Nigel Brewster, Vice Chair, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “I am delighted that the programme has received such a positive response from the business community. Passing the half way mark is brilliant.”

One company signed up to the scheme is Henry Boot Construction. Henry Boot’s employment and skills manager, Adeana Raper, is matched with Birley Community College in Sheffield and Horizon Community College in Barnsley.

She said: “Schools often have misperceptions about the construction sector. They assume it’s a low-skilled industry. In practice, there are jobs for all levels and the industry needs young people who are disciplined and motivated, with drive and ambition.”

She added: “We want to see young people who have the confidence to realise their potential. What excites me about this opportunity is that it’s strategic, working with the headteacher and senior leadership team to change perceptions.”

Volunteers need to be senior and well-connected professionals or business people who can help to increase the quality and quantity of careers and enterprise learning. They will receive support from coordinators. For information visit www.enterpriseadviserscr.org.uk or email mike.garnock-jones@sheffield.gov.uk.