Chamber programmes bring business into the classroom

30 Apr 2018


In December 2017 the Government launched its Careers Strategy, designed to make the most of everyone’s skills and talents and provide excellent lifelong careers guidance using the Gatsby Benchmarks as the mark of quality and excellence.

There are three big implications for schools and colleges: They need to develop a programme of good careers education and guidance that meets the standard set out in the Gatsby Benchmarks; they need to ensure that all young people are receiving at least one encounter a year with an employer; and they should appoint a Careers Leader to drive the school’s careers programme forward.

Employers are going to be central to a modern careers offer. In order to support local schools in meeting this strategy St Helens Chamber delivers a range of Education Programmes starting at Primary through Secondary and on to sixth form colleges.

The Mentoring Programme

Funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company, and currently working with five schools, the Mentoring Programme partners local Business Mentors with young people in school to raise their confidence and self-esteem, allowing them to imagine a positive future.

Currently 21 volunteer Business Mentors from across a range of different sectors are supporting 97 Year 8 students who were not reaching their full potential in school, to help inspire them to aim higher.

The Business Mentors work with small groups of students offering a range of face-to-face meetings, online support and a set programme of activity.

The students are taken on industry visits to the workplace where they gain an understanding of the expectations of the world of work. A recent visit to Knowsley Safari Park to see how it is run behind the scenes started with a session on potential careers within the sector. The final session of the day looked at interview techniques in a practical setting determining the skills necessary to be effective in the different roles. By taking part in the activities the students were able to understand and acknowledge the importance of certain employability skills such as leadership, communication, teamwork, relationships and realise how these can be developed across many areas.

Hayley Worsfold, Learning and Discovery Community Officer at Knowsley Safari Park and a volunteer Mentor at De La Salle School said: “It’s great to hear such positive feedback from the schools and students, It’s the first time I have put together such an itinerary here at Knowsley Safari Park therefore I’m pleased to hear the activities were well received”

For more information or to register your interest in becoming a Business Mentor contact Helen Miles on 01744 742085 or email

Learning to Work Programme

The Learning to Work programme is aimed at primary school pupils in Year 5 and 6 and is designed to make sure each young person in St Helens is ready, willing and able to contribute to the local economy and community. As well as raising this awareness, we are trying to create resilience and raise aspirations to achieve gainful employment for our young people at the highest level.

The Learning to Work programme has been designed to meet these demands in one of the most challenging times for young people to succeed. It is imperative that young people understand the importance of their education in the context of their working life, understanding that education is the pathway to their career.

The programme enables young people to develop strong links with the business community through a wide range of projects. We are regularly looking for volunteers from local businesses to support our primary school activities to make a difference in a young person’s life. We are also looking for volunteers to be guest speakers, attending careers events, supporting the development of entrepreneurial skills and supporting staff to deliver a curriculum that reflects the world of work.

To find out more about the Learning to Work programme and how your business could get involved, please contact Natalie Armstrong on 01744 742131 or email

Enterprise Adviser Network

Developed by the Careers & Enterprise Company, the Enterprise Adviser programme is designed to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work. Its focus is to create powerful, lasting connections between local businesses and the schools and colleges within the Liverpool City Region.

The Enterprise Advisers provide support to schools or colleges and work with the senior leadership team to develop a whole school strategy for careers, enterprise and employer engagement.

Enterprise Advisers are volunteers drawn from businesses who will work directly with the school’s leadership team to strategically develop effective employer engagement plans. They will work with other local businesses to equip young people with the skills they need, engaging students in practical and memorable career learning experiences.

Paul Hoinville, Customer Engagement Officer at the Contact Group said: “I am pleased to be working with Lansbury Bridge and to have the opportunity to work with students to raise awareness of job opportunities. I thoroughly enjoyed being a judge at an Enterprise Challenge they held within the school.”

To find out more about the Enterprise Adviser Network and how you or your business can support the programme contact Helen Miles on 01744 742085 or email

This is an exciting opportunity for companies to have a positive impact on a young person’s education and future job prospects, whilst also raising the profile of your own company and enabling personal development for your staff across your organisation.

If you would like more information on any of the projects and how you can get involved in any of the exciting activities within the Careers Strategy in Education, please contact Helen Miles on 01744 742085 or email