Warwickshire Careers Hub settles perfectly into Skills Hub home

Many of the business we work with have ambitions to engage more with schools to inspire young people into the various careers available. Now more of those connections are bring made all the time"

Warwickshire Careers Hub has hit the ground running at its new base within Warwickshire Skills Hub with the move having proved “absolutely fantastic.”

Careers Hub team Emma Carty (Operational Hub Lead) and Dave Lennox and Steph Parker (Enterprise Coordinators) moved into the Skills Hub at Eliot Park Innovation Centre, Nuneaton, late last year.

They needed a new base after the Local Enterprise Partnership dissolved, so the Coventry and Warwickshire Careers Hub split into two. Warwickshire County Council (WCC) and Coventry City Council both welcomed new Careers Hubs into their areas and WCC Lead Commissioner for Employability and Skills, Fay Winterburn, suggested the Skills Hub would be the perfect base with all its ongoing links with employers.

So it has proved, says Emma.

“It’s been absolutely fantastic from day one,” she said. “We were a little bit nervous to start with because we had been Coventry & Warwickshire Careers Hub for four and a half years and our team of six had been together from the beginning. But it’s like we have been here forever.

“The Skills Hub team is great with and swapping connections and like us to be involved in everything. Some things I thought they might not be interested in, they have been, like the Future Skills Questionnaire which careers leaders send out to students to ask about their career preferences. The questionnaires give us great feedback about what industries students are interested in and now the Skills Hub has an input too everything is so joined up.

“We have good relationships with the schools. It’s all about linking those schools with the employers and this is where the move into the Skills Hub has been brilliant. We work massively with employers, whether its arranging mock interviews, careers days or speed networking event, so this move looked the perfect fit and it has proved exactly that. Every time we hold an event with employers we invite a member of the Skills Hub team to talk and that means that employers know about all the options available to them. It is not just about what they can do for career-seekers, we can fully outline what benefits we can bring to the business.”

Warwickshire Careers Hub quickly established its first Cornerstone Employers - Rebellion Development, Lisi Aerospace and Sertec. They are the first three to pledge to inspire young people across the county and set them on the path to worthwhile and fulfilling careers. More Cornerstone Employers will follow across the county.

The Careers Hub also runs a diverse network of Enterprise Advisors – business volunteers who offer to bring their experience and expertise into schools and college. They offer agile support and advisors are currently matched up to 29 of 49 schools in Warwickshire.

Careers delivery in schools took a huge hit during and after Covid, but with the energy and skills of the Careers Hub team in their new home, the levels of advice and support needed by young people is returning to where it needs to be.

“Covid changed everything,” said Emma. “It took a long time to build up careers engagement and then the pandemic struck and coming out of that, behaviour and attendance in schools and grades and attainment dropped massively. Careers was knocked back on the priority list because headteachers had other priorities.

“But now we are getting back into schools, with the wonderful support of employers. If an employer goes into a Maths lesson and talks about how maths can lead to a lucrative and fulfilling career it makes it that much more relevant and really engages the students. A couple of years on from Covid we are getting back to where we were. There is less engagement with schools in some areas so we target them. Many schools are on the right track already, and we are always there for them, but we focus on the schools that need it with our Cornerstone Employers and Agile Advisors."

Three times a year Warwickshire Careers Hub hosts Careers Leaders Meetings, one of which was held this month at Warwick Racecourse. There was an excellent take up with 36 of 49 schools represented and subjects discussed included Continual Professional Development and parental engagement.

The Warwickshire Careers Hub team is as driven and productive as the Skills Hub team they have joined at Eliot Park and Vicki Haslam, Senior Business Skills Advisors at the Skills Hub, is delighted to have them ‘in house.’

“The introduction of the Careers Hub to the Skills Hub team has been brilliant,” said Vicki. “It has created a joined up way of thinking and enabled us to create direct links for employers to careers leaders and take industry into the classroom. Many of the business we work with have ambitions to engage more with schools to inspire young people into going into the various careers that are available. Now more of those connections are bring made all the time which is great for everybody involved.”

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