CIPD member wins Careers & Enterprise Company ‘Enterprise Adviser of the Year’ Award

Roger Wilson is recognised for transforming careers provision at Queen Katherine School in Kendal, Cumbria 

CIPD Chartered Fellow, Roger Wilson, has been announced as ‘Enterprise Adviser of the Year’ at the annual awards run by The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC). The awards recognise and celebrate the work done across the Enterprise Adviser network by schools, colleges, businesses volunteers and careers activity providers.

Roger was recruited in January as an Enterprise Adviser for Queen Katherine secondary school in Kendal. The school had no careers provision when he joined but by May the new offer he drove was ‘highly commended’ by the education watchdog Ofsted. 

Working closely with the school’s senior leadership team, governors and careers lead, Roger identified opportunities to deliver high impact activities. He established an extensive network of Cumbria-based employers and worked with the school’s careers lead to monitor the progress of disadvantaged pupils.

Roger, who now runs his own consultancy business, drew on his 30 years of NHS senior management experience to develop the school’s new innovative strategic plan. He was also instrumental in delivering careers activity at Queen Katherine School, including a ‘Work Ready’ day which galvanised 47 local employers to run activities with the students. He was commended for bringing unprecedented energy, passion and commitment to the role and already has even more ambitious plans for the next academic year.

Speaking about his win, Roger said: “I'm so proud to have won the national award – it was really unexpected. It’s great working with the school, and helping to get other businesses involved. The big thing for me is that this is all about enabling young people to make the best possible careers choices in life. It’s also important that we get more business people across England volunteering to become Enterprise Advisers and sharing their experience in schools.”

The CIPD, working in partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company, has recruited more than 700 volunteers from the HR community for the Enterprise Adviser programme since it first launched in 2015. Now made up of more than 2,300 volunteers, the Enterprise Adviser Network – senior volunteers from the world of business – work with head teachers and leadership teams in schools and colleges in England to help them understand the local labour market and develop a whole school careers education strategy.

Another HR professional, Hannah Martin, volunteers as an Enterprise Adviser for Matravers School in Wiltshire, which received the CEC award for ‘School of the Year’. Hannah has been working with the school since July 2016, and together they have developed a comprehensive careers plan to ensure all students from Year 7 onwards receive a minimum of two meaningful encounters with employers each year. Students receive 2 mock interview days, a CV checked by employers and at least one university and work place visit by the time they reach Year 11. They also receive an additional day of structured support post 16.  

Congratulating Roger, Hannah and all those HR volunteers working as Enterprise Advisers across England, Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, said: “This is a great achievement and exemplifies the positive contribution HR professionals can make to young people thinking about their futures. Far too often we hear about school leavers who are unprepared for the challenges of working life or are unaware of the opportunities available to them – an issue the Enterprise Adviser Network aims to address. With an understanding of current and future labour market opportunities and challenges, HR professionals are well-placed to volunteer for the role of Enterprise Adviser. I’m delighted that Roger and Hannah are being recognised for their tremendous contribution to this fantastic movement and the lives of students in their local area.”

To find out how to become an Enterprise Adviser please click here.

To find out more about The Careers & Enterprise Company, please click here.

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