A careers initiative created to help inspire young people in Derby is celebrating supporting its 50,000th pupil.
E4E is a Derby City Council scheme, set up in 2014. It provides CV writing workshops, mock interviews, mentoring and ‘Dragons Den’ style Enterprise Challenge Day, where pupils from city secondary schools and Sixth Forms pitch a project to business leaders who volunteer for the session.
The project, which has 600-plus volunteers from various businesses including Rolls-Royce, Lubrizol, Bowmer + Kirkland and Toyota, reached an impressive milestone when it helped its 50,000th pupil – Kacie Behan from Da Vinci Academy – participate in a mock interview.
Councillor John Whitby, Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Learning and Skills:
“Our aim is not only to raise aspirations of young people in Derby, but to also help boost their self-confidence and knowledge of careers and opportunities Post-16.
“E4E aims to bridge the gap between school and employers by giving pupils the opportunity to meet business leaders in a familiar setting.”
David Grimmett is Head of Careers at Da Vinci Academy. He said:
“Raising the aspirations of our students is a key part of our school vision and bringing employers into school is vital to this process.
“I’m delighted for Arshad and the E4E team on reaching such an impressive milestone. Their sessions are always insightful and having employers in our school lifts the students; it inspires them.”
15-year-old pupil Kacie said that she initially felt nervous ahead of the mock interviews but that her E4E interviewer, Victoria Husk, put her at ease.
“We had talked about mock interviews in lesson before and I felt nervous before, but I feel so much more confident now and it was a good experience.”
Paul Broadhead is a volunteer with E4E, and also sits on the board. He said: “For me it’s all about opportunity.
“We know, or can assume, that talent is equally distributed across the UK but the opportunity to grow, to develop, to find what you are passionate about, to succeed in the world of work and have the opportunity and support to be the best version of yourself, is not!
“E4E works hard through its army of volunteers to change this for our young people in Derby. That’s why I joined the board several years ago, when I was still working at Rolls-Royce and, even though I’m now retired and living 150 miles away, I am still proud to be involved with E4E.”
Other schools in the city who have benefitted from E4E’s expertise since it was founded in 2014 include Allestree Woodlands, which was also praised by government inspectors for its ‘high-quality careers education programme that prepares pupils well for their next steps’, and Littleover Community School.
Ian Morgan, chair of Derbyshire County Cricket Club and soon-to-be High Sheriff of Derbyshire, said:
“I have been volunteering for E4E since 2016 and every year I wish that I had found time to do more. It is a transformational project that helps young people to improve their chances of transitioning from school to the world of work.
“I find everyday uplifting and rewarding – you meet so many young, talented people who all have talent, but many do not know just how much. The confidence and reassurance that they get from spending even a short time with employers is invaluable and palpable.”
Emma Hibbert, of Bowmer & Kirkland, has been involved with E4E for several years and sits on the board. She said:
“Careers education in schools has changed so much, particularly over the last five years. There has been huge transformations in schools using the Gatsby Benchmark – eight markers that provide a clear framework for organising the careers provision in schools and colleges – and the bar is now raised.
“The events we arrange are hugely beneficial and for the first time ever, E4E has started offering its services outside of the city, having recently undertaken mock interviews at Ripley Academy.
“For schools to organise something like mock interviews, it can be hugely time consuming; E4E has a huge pool of volunteers from various sectors – global organisations such as Rolls-Royce and Lubrizol and successful SMEs including HR & Employment Law firm Precept and PR company Penguin PR – that we can tap into.
“We couldn’t do all this, though, without the help and support of our volunteers and I’d like to thank them, too, for their help with E4E and on helping us to reach this incredible milestone.”