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School to lead drive to boost young people’s career dreams

Posted onPosted on 3rd Jul

An award-winning Shirebrook school has been chosen to spearhead a new initiative designed to improve the careers chances of young people living and studying across North-East Derbyshire.

Shirebrook Academy has been named as the lead school in a new Careers Hub, which is being set up to get nearby schools working together in order to improve the employment prospects for their students.

The Hub, which will cover 21 schools in North-East Derbyshire, including Chesterfield and Bolsover, is being set up by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, a private sector-led partnership of companies, local authorities and other organisations which promotes economic growth across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

D2N2 successfully applied for the necessary funding from the Careers and Enterprise Company, a nationally funded body which helps link schools and colleges with employers to increase employer engagement for young people.

A total of 20 Career Hubs were set up across the country last year and the new D2N2 Hub is one of a further 18 created this month.

It will use £80,000 of funding to bring schools and colleges together with employers and universities, training providers and career professionals, as well as coordinate activity, fund employer engagement events and pay for the training of a careers leader at each school.

Shirebrook Academy is the current holder of the East Midlands Chamber’s Regional Educational Business Partnership Award and is one of only a few schools in the area to employ a full-time non-teaching careers advisor.

Its principal, Mark Cottingham, was also part of the delegation from D2N2 who successfully presented their case for the new Hub earlier this year.

He said that not only will the new Hub allow the schools to combine their efforts and share their best practice, it will help a whole generation of students to learn about the careers that are on their doorstep and inspire them to raise their aspirations.

He added: “We are very proud to have been chosen as the lead school for the new D2N2 Hub, which has the potential to change the lives of young people across North-East Derbyshire by helping them to aim high in their careers and better prepare them for the local jobs market.

“There are some pockets of deprivation in this part of the country, but 47,000 new jobs will also be created in this region next year alone, so the opportunities are there for young people as long as they are well-prepared to take advantage of them.

“That is certainly something schools can help with, but because Ofsted and school accountability measures don’t currently focus very much on this area then careers provision is not always prioritised.”

“Setting up the new Hub will help to change that and we are looking forward to sharing our knowledge and business contacts with other schools and finding out how we can learn from them too.”

Claudia Harris, chief executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “The accelerated progress we’re seeing in the first wave of Careers Hubs shows that this model is working and delivering for young people, with schools and colleges in this first wave of Careers Hubs already outperforming the national average across all aspects of careers education.

“We are delighted that the Government’s investment is supporting us to roll out this model to a quarter of schools and colleges in the country, helping more young people get the vital support and opportunities they need.”

Pictured, from left, are Mark Cottingham, principal of Shirebrook Academy; Tracy Horton, Personal Development Co-ordinator at Shirebrook Academy and Helen Wakefield, the Academy’s Assistant Principal with the school’s East Midlands Chamber’s Regional Educational Business Partnership Award.