Students at Fullhurst Community College in Braunstone are getting ‘dialled in’ to thinking about the world of work thanks to a new relationship with BT.
They’re some of the first to benefit from the Enterprise Adviser Network, a Government-led scheme that links volunteers from the business world with local schools and colleges.
The programme is overseen locally by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), who play an important role in identifying parts of the county that would benefit from extra support.
They’ve chosen Kasam Hussain, BT board member for the East Midlands and programme manager for the Superfast Leicestershire broadband partnership, to work with Fullhurst Community College as their dedicated Enterprise Adviser.
Kasam now volunteers his own time, with the full support of BT, to help students by working closely with senior teaching staff to develop advice and guidance around careers, employment and enterprise.
He said: “I am delighted that Fullhurst Community College and BT are working together to support students around their career and employment options. There are so many choices available to young people that at first it can seem a little daunting. But hopefully, the support and advice I can offer from a business perspective will help make things a little clearer for them.
“BT has an exceptionally strong track-record in working with young people and setting them on the road to long and successful careers. Around 1,400 new apprentice and graduate opportunities across the UK were announced earlier this year, with Leicester being one of the places expected to benefit.”
The Enterprise Adviser Network has been rolled out nationally by the Government’s Careers & Enterprise Company, an employer-led organisation set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. There are over 1,000 Enterprise Advisers now in post across the country.
Steve Piggot, deputy principal at the college, said: “Fullhurst Community College has been transforming the lives of students for over 25 years. We are extremely proud to be celebrating record GCSE results for the third consecutive year with our highest ever proportion of A/A* grades. It is our aim that students leave Fullhurst Community College as successful, confident and responsible young people equipped with academic qualifications as well as the personal and social skills to enable them make a positive contribution to society.
“We believe that resilience is key to our students exceeding their potential and passionately instil a positive ‘I can do’ outlook which is why we are delighted to be working with such a renowned, established and well-respected company like BT. Having someone like Kasam coming into the college takes away the fear-factor often associated with big multi-national organisations and provides inspiration for students to aim high in whatever they do."
Kasam is one of 18 advisers appointed across Leicestershire to work with schools and colleges and he is being supported by a dedicated enterprise coordinator from the local enterprise partnership. The enterprise coordinator sits at the heart of the network, harnessing the relationship between education and business.
Working together they will focus on activities that have the greatest evidence of impact on young people, such as; employer mentoring, work experience and employer visits.
Abdul Bathin, enterprise coordinator of LLEP, added: “The Enterprise Adviser Network allows employers like BT to use their expertise in business to help shape and tailor future enterprise education. The dedication shown by Kasam has been fantastic and I’m delighted to announce he has also agreed to join our governance group to help improve the programme. Kasam has already proved to be a great resource and I have no doubt he will add real value to Fullhurst Community College.”
BT plays a key role in the Leicestershire economy, and the most recent independent research available shows the company generated £176 million for the local economy in the previous 12 months.
More than 8,000 jobs in the East Midlands are supported by the work of BT, through direct employment, its spending with contractors and suppliers and the spending of employees. More than 2,100 of these jobs are in Leicestershire.
Volunteering is also a core element of BT’s strategy. Last year, BT people in the East Midlands contributed more than 2,000 volunteering days to worthy causes, amounting to in-kind support of nearly £670,000. In addition, MyDonate – BT’s commission-free online fund-raising service – has helped to raise more than £1.1m for charities across the East Midlands.