Ellesmere Park High School in Salford is one of the first 26 schools to take part in the Greater Manchester Enterprise Adviser Network, a scheme jointly funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Working alongside Sophie Hope, Greater Manchester’s first careers and enterprise co-ordinator, Kath Barratt, Associate Assistant Head teacher at Ellesmere Park, talked through the school’s current careers and employer engagement provision and started to think about a suitable Enterprise Adviser to support them to meet their objectives. That perfect match came in the form of Paul Kelly, Business Development Director at Carillion.

From Paul’s application it was obvious that he was passionate about supporting young people in Greater Manchester. He also clearly understood the recruitment needs of the construction industry and how working with schools was a great way of highlighting the fantastic opportunities in the sector.

Paul and Kath were able to quickly identify priority areas which included bringing employers in to talk to students about a range of post 16 choices and increasing employer links in the curriculum. To help deliver against these priorities the school looked at the best tools for the job to do this and, having recently signed up to U-Explore’s Start programme, the school decided to use data about what careers and industries students had stated they were interested in to target specific groups of students for a series of employer led networking lunches.

It was exciting to see the first of these activities, and indeed the first ever activity under the GM Enterprise adviser Network, take place on Friday 25th November.

Over lunch, Paul, along with his colleague Michael Widdicks, spoke to a group of 20 students who had registered their interest in hearing more about careers in construction. 6 girls and 14 boys heard about what a career in civil engineering looked like and what qualifications, skills, behaviours and attitudes would help you to achieve a career in the industry. Not only did students get to see which projects Carillion had built in Greater Manchester Carillion, such as the Beetham Tower and One St. Peter’s Square, but they also got to see which projects they could work on if they went into this field, such as HS2.

We were blown away by the quality of questions the students asked Paul and Michael! Molly, a Year 9 student, was keen to find out how to get into her preferred career asking “what qualifications do I need to be a site manager?”

“I’m so proud of the students, they asked some fantastic questions and it was exciting for them to see what projects they could work on. Experiences like this really help them to see where their studies can take them”. Kath Barratt

For more information on the Enterprise Adviser Network, please get in touch with Sophie Hope or visit the dedicated section on our website