Stoke Staffs LEP
Employers pledge to help young people in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire prepare for the world of work
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Employers pledge to help young people in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire prepare for the world of work

Young people across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire will be given support to prepare for the fast-changing world of work through a partnership of organisations.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Synectics Solutions, Euro Car Parts, Port Vale FC, the Together We’re Better Health and Social Care Partnership and Staffordshire County Council have all signed up to become a ‘Cornerstone Employer’.

Partnering with The Careers & Enterprise Company and the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SSLEP), which also delivers the Enterprise Adviser Network, they will invest time and resources in supporting local schools and colleges with their careers education and with inspiring young people within the Opportunity Area and Careers Hub.

The employers will join existing Cornerstone Employers in the area: Autonet, KMF Group, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Seddon, Michelin and Stoke City Football Club who have been actively involved as Cornerstone Employers over the last 18 months.

Research shows that young people who have regular, meaningful interactions with employers while at school or college are less likely to be classed as not in education, employment or training (NEET) when they leave.

As Cornerstone Employers they will work to ensure that all young people across the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire region have access to regular, meaningful engagement with employers reflecting the priority sectors which are expected to drive growth in the area: applied materials, agri-tech, aero-Auto, medical technology and energy, business and professional services; tourism and leisure, as well as construction. This will help young people to gain the vital experiences of the workplace they need to support them to make informed choices about their futures.

Cornerstone Employers also act as champions to encourage new businesses in the area to get involved in supporting schools and colleges, as well as encouraging their own staff to become volunteer ‘Enterprise Advisers’.

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership acting chairman Alun Rogers said:

Ensuring young people in Staffordshire have the skills they need in their chosen careers is essential to them and to the local economy. Skills development is a major part of the LEP’s role and of our local industrial strategy.

The Careers and Enterprise Company is supporting this work and making the connections between schools and local businesses. We already have 62 schools signed up to the programme across the LEP area and the CEC has made a £500,000 investment in its projects in our area over the last two years.

The network will help stimulate more employer engagement with schools, colleges and careers programme providers, supporting them to work together to provide young people with effective and high-quality encounters with the world of work.”

John Yarham, Interim CEO at The Careers & Enterprise Company, said:

We are delighted to have these employers committing to helping schools and colleges across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. All young people deserve great careers education, to inspire them, support their aspirations and prepare them for the fast-changing world of work.

Employers need to be at heart of that, so young people can learn first-hand about the careers and industries that are open to them. We are very grateful to all the employers for their ongoing support and commitment to helping the young people in the area prepare for their future careers.”

Emma Dempster, Project Skills Manager at Seddon said:

At Seddon we are passionate about working with schools and colleges to promote careers in construction and ensure that we have the next generation to enable us to continue, as well as breaking down the misconceptions around working in the industry.

Our connection with the CEC has enabled us to develop long term working relationships with schools and colleges, so we can really make a difference to the students and get involved with curriculum delivery as well as supporting future career choices.”