West of England Careers Hub is launched to improve the career opportunities for young people across the region

(Centre) Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, and Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, surrounded by representatives of schools, colleges, the West of England Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership involved in the Careers Hub

City of Bristol College and the region’s schools and colleges are getting behind the new West of England Careers Hub to help improve career opportunities for young people and forge closer ties with businesses.

The Careers Hub will initially work with 25 schools and colleges from across Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset. The schools and colleges will be supported to improve career opportunities and work experience for young people, allowing them to make more informed choices about their future careers. The Hub is managed by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

The Careers Hub will offer targeted support to schools including up to £3,500 per year to use on opportunities to strengthen links with employers, access to a Hub Network Group which will build a community of good practice between schools, support from an Enterprise Co-ordinator and Enterprise Advisors; Careers Leader Training and Continuing Professional Development for wider teaching staff

WECA secured £220,000 from The Careers & Enterprise Company to establish the new Careers Hub, which was launched on Thursday 20 September. Additional funds for the Hub have been provided by WECA, the LEP and Future Quest.

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “I was honoured to launch the new Careers Hub and to meet the schools’ and colleges’ careers teams in order to learn more about how they plan to work with businesses to improve the opportunities opento young people in our region. It’s clear to see the enthusiasm and determination from everyone involved to help achieve the best outcomes for our young people.

“We need the right skills for businesses now and into the future and we must encourage young people to realise their potential. The new Careers Hub will ensure young people have more opportunities to explore the world of work and meet potential future employers. Evidence shows that if a student has four or more opportunities to engage with an employer, they are more likely to secure employment, and earn more during their career.”

Lee Probert, Principal and Chief Executive of City of Bristol College, commented: “At City of Bristol College we recognise the importance of collaborative working for the benefit of young people in the South West region. The success and growth of our region’s economy depends on young people having clear and ambitious career aspirations and effective skills training that meets the needs of employers. Through Careers Hub we will not only be able to develop a vigorous programme of employer engagement opportunities but also create an extension to our own careers service through the network of partner organisations, to help our young people achieve their full potential in the jobs they want.”

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, added: “We're excited by the potential impact of the Hubs. If employers, schools and colleges can better prepare young people for the world of work, we're not just benefiting the future economy, but improving prospects for thousands of young people.”

City of Bristol College delivers education and skills training to over 3800 young people each year with 78% of leavers progressing to employment or higher education each year. The college already works with a range of employers who enable students to experience the world of work during their studies, as well as facilitate co-design and co-delivery of college curriculum. Employers interested in supporting the Careers Hub initiative and enhancing careers and learning experience of students at City of Bristol College should email celeste.indge@cityofbristol.ac.uk

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