We're proud to be working with the Careers and Enterprise Company to recruit volunteers for the Enterprise Adviser Network across England. Here you'll find everything you need to know about the programme.

The Enterprise Advisers programme

Enterprise Advisers are professional volunteers who work directly with schools’ leadership teams to develop effective careers education strategies and meaningful connections with local employers.

Evidence shows that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer whilst at school is 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training after leaving school. Unfortunately, only four in ten schools currently offer young people this number of quality encounters. Enterprise Adviser volunteers work with schools across England to change that. The publication of the government's career strategy has reinforced the need to enhance young people's futures, identifying Enterprise Advisers as a pivotal driver in ensuring that all young people across England receive quality, meaningful careers support.

Since 2015, over 600 volunteers working in HR and L&D have joined the Enterprise Adviser Network through the CIPD. Here's what some of them are saying:

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The Enterprise Adviser role has provided a fantastic opportunity for me to bring my experiences into schools and specifically to young people. It’s been rewarding being that important link to help schools and employers collaborate more.

Delphina Johnson

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I have worked in graduate and apprentice recruitment for seven years now, but the Enterprise Adviser role gave me the opportunity to get first-hand insight into the world of secondary education. I have also been able to use the experience to demonstrate my own development.

Hazel Bradford

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This is a great programme that allows you to use your skills in a completely different setting, get creative and make a difference. It has been a fantastic experience so far – can’t recommend it enough!

Aline Barlier

We're looking for self-driven, motivated individuals who are committed to making a difference to young people’s career prospects. You’ll have the opportunity to share your passion for your profession and knowledge of the local labour market, promote the skills employers are looking for, and facilitate sustainable links to local employers.

As an Enterprise Adviser you will:

  • develop your leadership skills
  • support a local school and the wider community
  • play an active role in helping schools develop ‘work-ready’ young people
  • access a diverse pool of entry-level talent and help them harness the skills of the future
  • promote your organisation and your profession and highlight its contribution to tackling youth unemployment.

The majority of Enterprise Advisers support secondary schools and further education colleges across England. Opportunities are also available at special schools (for young people with special educational needs) and pupil referral units (for those who aren't in mainstream education). We'll ask you which type of school you would like to support in your telephone interview. 

Note: Due to the way education is funded in the UK, the Enterprise Adviser Network supports schools and colleges located in England only. If you are based in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, or even further afield, you may want to consider becoming a Remote Enterprise Adviser, which we explore further below.

Many senior HR and L&D professionals are ideally suited to the role of Enterprise Adviser. Ideally, Enterprise Advisers will be:

  • self-driven
  • pro-active
  • HR and L&D manager or above level experience
  • passionate about young people’s career prospects
  • knowledgeable about the local labour market
  • aware of the skills employers look for in young people
  • experienced in developing strategy in a professional context
  • comfortable working with senior staff in leadership positions
  • part of an existing local network, or have a willingness to network and build connections between schools and local employers.

On average, Enterprise Advisers are likely to spend eight hours per month volunteering. This time will usually be split between face-to-face meetings with school staff and phone calls/emails.

We ask that Enterprise Advisers commit to supporting a school for at least one academic year (i.e. autumn to summer).

If you're interested in becoming an Enterprise Adviser, the first step is to complete our online expression of interest form. Our Member, Branch and Community Engagement team will then contact you in the days following.

After completing a short application form and submitting your CV, we’ll invite you to a quick telephone interview to assess your motivation and level of experience. 

If you're successful in your application, we'll ask you to attend a local introductory training session and provide you with a detailed toolkit. Each Enterprise Adviser will be allocated to a single school or college and will be supported throughout by a dedicated, regionally-based Enterprise Coordinator.

After an introductory meeting with the relevant senior staff at the school, you'll work with them to develop their careers strategy and help them understand and select suitable activities for their students.

Simply follow these steps to get involved as an Enterprise Adviser:

  1. Register your interest via a short online cipdenterpriseadvisers.co.uk
  2. You'll be contacted by email with information on the next stage.
  3. Submit an application form and CV via email.
  4. Have a short telephone interview with the CIPD.
  5. The CIPD refers you to your Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
  6. The LEP matches you to a school or college.
  7. You become an Enterprise Adviser, using your skills and knowledge to help schools.

Remote Enterprise Advisers provide support to their designated school or college primarily via video call technology. We're piloting this innovative approach during the 2017/18 academic year in Cornwall. The remote model has advantages for both schools and volunteers alike, as physical location need not be a barrier to participation. 

In addition to the qualities we look for in all of our participants, Remote Enterprise Advisers need to have:

  • confidence in using video call technologies (e.g. Skype or Google Hangouts) and the ability to coach others in their use of these
  • exceptional communication skills
  • understanding of the challenges of remote working and effective strategies for overcoming them
  • an appreciation of the difficulties that rural areas face.

If you believe that you have the unique blend of skills required to become a Remote Enterprise Adviser and are willing to help pioneer this new approach, please contact us directly on enterpriseadviser@cipd.co.uk in addition to completing the online expression of interest form.

Looking for more information?

Download our Enterprise Adviser promotional leaflet for more information on the programme.

For any questions, feel free to contact our Member, Branch and Community Engagement team today on enterpriseadviser@cipd.co.uk