Students and employers joined forces at Caedmon College Whitby during a recent visit by Robert Goodwill MP to showcase a new initiative to support North Yorkshire’s next generation into thriving careers.
Mr Goodwill, who is local MP for Scarborough and Whitby, has agreed to become a Careers and Enterprise Parliamentary Champion after learning how employers in the region, along with careers programme providers, are stepping up and working with schools to inspire and inform young people about future careers, and to prepare them for the world of work.
Employers including Sirius Minerals, GCHQ, Dale Power Solutions, Askew Brook and Burberry, along with sixth formers from Caedmon, were all on hand to show the MP the importance of a new range of schemes to support the next generation to make the right steps into training and employment.
These schemes - which form part of the North Yorkshire Coast Opportunity Area Programme - include the encouragement of girls into engineering, they also include integrating information about the importance of the cyber security industry into school lessons
“It was amazing to learn more about how this coordinated effort across employers and schools is really helping to inspire and support local young people” said Mr Goodwill. “I want young people in Scarborough and Whitby to have the best chance not only to move into work but to thrive in their future careers.”
The North Yorkshire coast - taking in Whitby, Scarborough and Filey - has become one of 12 Opportunity Areas in the country. This £72 million Government programme is targeting areas of the UK which face the greatest challenges in relation to social mobility. It builds on work already begun by North Yorkshire County Council to raise aspirations among the coast’s young people.
“We want to raise aspirations and provide the best opportunities for our young people to thrive and move on into a bright future” said County Councillor Patrick Mulligan, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Schools. “The Opportunity Area programme is already making a positive impact on the North Yorkshire Coast - it is bringing people together to work more effectively to improve outcomes further for children and young people.”
The Opportunity Area programme represents a concerted effort across education, business and communities to support social mobility, with funding being allocated to projects according to locally-identified issues and priorities.
A key element of the Opportunity Area programme is to help all young people have first class exposure to employment through initiatives involving senior business volunteers and alumni networks and committed employers.
This initiative is coordinated by the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), the national organisation set up to prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Mr Goodwill has been especially interested to see how the Careers and Enterprise Company, working with North Yorkshire Business and Education Partnership (NYBEP) and the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is bringing employers and schools together in North Yorkshire to support young people.
“I commend the CEC and NYBEP on their hard work in leading these initiatives” added Mr Goodwill, “and give huge thanks to all the employers involved for all they are doing to support the next generation in North Yorkshire. I look forward to working with all to continue to grow this.”
Sarah Yong, Head of Government Relations at The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “As an Opportunity area, Scarborough and Whitby is really important to the CEC which is why we have set up our Cornerstone Employer Initiative here where employers like those present at this event lead the charge by scaling up their efforts and galvanising the local business community to support young people. It was amazing to see their commitment as well as from Robert who we are delighted to have taken on as an MP champion. This means he can showcase his local area as a shining example to encourage other parts of the country to do the same.”