The Careers & Enterprise Company is an employer-led organisation that has been set up to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Its role is to act as a catalyst in the fragmented landscape of careers and enterprise, supporting programmes that work, filling gaps in provision and ensuring coverage across the country.
In its first year of operation it has focused on improving links between employers and schools and colleges. It has established a network of coordination (Enterprise Adviser Network) across England in partnership with Local Enterprise Partnerships, with over 100 full time Enterprise Coordinators, each working with clusters of 20 schools and colleges. More than 1,600 school and colleges are now part of the network – nearly 50% of all secondary schools. We have over 1,400 Enterprise Advisers - business volunteers who have signed up to provide counsel to individual schools and colleges. The purpose of the Enterprise Adviser Network is to create powerful, lasting connections between local businesses and the schools and colleges in their area.
The Company has committed to investing £20m in proven programmes to connect schools and businesses, unlocking a further £15m in match funding. Funding is primarily directed to geographic areas in the country most in need of support – the 'Cold spots' – and 450,000 young people will benefit.
Christine Hodgson, chairman of Capgemini, was named as chairman and it was established as a CIC, independent of government. Other board members include Lord Young, former Enterprise Adviser to the Prime Minister, Steve Holliday, former Chief Executive of National Grid plc, Brian Lightman, former General Secretary of ASCL and Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE, Vice President of Business in the Community and Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities. The company is led by Claudia Harris, CEO and former partner at McKinsey.
We are seeking an experienced and influential Head of Government Relations to join a growing team within the Career & Enterprise Company, to enhance and build on our reputation and influence across government and the wider political landscape.
We have already established a strong and supportive relationship with the Department of Education (DfE) as our key sponsor department; our priority in the next Parliament is to cement this relationship to ensure that DfE ministers and their policy teams can understand our offer and how it relates to their policy priorities.
We have begun to widen our network across other parts of Whitehall – both ministerially and their permanent secretaries, as well as their department’s programmes. We will seek to deepen these relationships targeting areas such as the Industrial Strategy and its focus on skills and growth.
Across Parliament, the Career & Enterprise Company has received positive endorsement by the joint business and education select committee for our role as an umbrella organisation to help coordinate careers and enterprise provision. Our goal in the next Parliament is to significantly increase awareness of the Company across all Parliamentarians including those represented on select committees and All Party Parliamentary Groups that are concerned with positive outcomes for young people. A key success measure for this role will be that Members of Parliament across the House can advocate for our work on the basis of their constituency interests and from the national perspective.
- Lead an engagement strategy with key government ministers and officials, and parliamentarians; identifying and creating opportunities for us to influence policy and assert our role as a thought leader in careers and enterprise education and employer engagement in schools;
- Lead responses to policy consultations and calls for evidence that enable the Company to distil insight about what works in careers and enterprise provision and how our programmes deliver well-evidenced careers support for young people;
- Maintain a constant overview of policy developments and political trends, shared with our Board and Senior Leadership Team to enable the Company to enter and drive debate on issues effecting young people’s transition from education into work;
- Support the development and performance of a high performing team, offering support and motivation as well as opportunities for staff development;
- Provide strategic advice and support to help achieve the strategic objectives of the company;
- Undertake ad hoc projects and activities to support the company’s overall aim of preparing young people for the world of work.
Qualifications & Experience required:
- Have a robust understanding of cultural and operational working of Whitehall and the machinery of government;
- Significant operational experience of UK political structures, processes and trends;
- Understand government priorities (their ‘grid’) and how they relate to our agenda to support positive outcomes for young people;
- Proven experience of engaging through the policy process – (1) developing policy ideas and (2) responding to consultations, strategy development and call for evidence from parliamentary committees. To do this you are able deploy evidence and stakeholder insight expertly to positively influence and engage government and parliamentary stakeholders with a clearly framed point of view;
- Proven ability to engage senior and working level stakeholders and manage political, ministerial and departmental sensitivities;
- Stella writing skills with ability to develop briefs that are accurate, concise and compelling;
- Operate effectively in ambiguity;
- A demonstrable understanding of school culture and the challenges faced by schools in delivering careers and enterprise, and the current careers education and corporate social responsibility landscapes.
Skills & Core Competencies:
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to persuade a variety of audiences and encourage others to use new ways of working. Confident in designing and delivering presentations;
- Collaborative and good at building relationships at all levels, both internally and with a range of external stakeholders;
- An ability to think and plan strategically, with evidence of securing policy change through successful design and execution of lobbying strategies;
- An understanding of the policy and content of CEC’s work;
- Proactive, with the ability to work independently, prioritising a busy workload and a large number of stakeholders;
- Adaptable, with the ability to deal with ambiguity and work in a start-up culture;
- Confident in scoping new ideas for development, with the ability to challenge others and be challenged.