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Getting ready for the workplace

Major employers sign up to help young people find a career

Local employers have signed up to help young people in Berkshire prepare for the fast-changing world of work.

Vodafone, Westcoast, Vineyard Group, SSE, Mace and Heathrow Airports Ltd have partnered with the Berkshire Enterprise Adviser Network to become Cornerstone Employers.

They will invest time and resources to support schools and colleges with their careers education to help inspire future generations.

Young people who have regular, meaningful contact with employers while at school are more likely to find employment or pursue further education or training, according to research.

Careers Hub lead Allison Giles said: “We are delighted to have signed up some key employers be the first to join the Cornerstone initiative.

“We’re very grateful for their time and commitment as we need the right skills for businesses now and into the future.”

The Cornerstone Employers will work closely with the Berkshire Enterprise Adviser Network, volunteers from the world of business who are each matched to a local school to support their careers activity.

Together, they aim to ensure that all young people across Berkshire have access to regular, meaningful engagement with employers and gain the vital experiences of the workplace they need to help them make informed choices about their futures.

Cornerstone Employers 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.

Theale-based Westcoast managing director Alex Tatham said: “Helping schools achieve some very difficult new benchmarks and promoting their adoption has been at the heart of Westcoast’s engagement.

“We have connected with two local schools in West Berkshire to help each of them with their careers programmes.

“In a time when our country, our schools, our teachers and our young people need more help than ever, Westcoast continue to provide support, ideas, innovation and energy to both our adopted schools and others in the region to help them attain all they can against these benchmarks.

“Our company and industry can gain too from the drive and creativity of our young people and together we can improve the gender balance in a male dominated industry.

“There is so much to gain for all and Westcoast is delighted to do its part.”

The Berkshire Enterprise Adviser Network, managed by Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership, aims to ensure school leavers are ready for the world of work.

There are currently 50 Enterprise Advisers linked with schools across Berkshire, but more are needed.

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