Portsmouth gets share of £5m pot to get young people better jobs

UTC Portsmouth students with representatives from Solent LEP, celebrating the launch of the Careers Hub. Picture: David George
UTC Portsmouth students with representatives from Solent LEP, celebrating the launch of the Careers Hub. Picture: David George
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STUDENTS in Portsmouth will be able to pin down better jobs as they enter the world of work, thanks to a new scheme in the Solent region.

The Solent LEP has secured part of a £5m government fund to build a Careers Hub in the area – bringing together 32 schools to work alongside universities, training providers and employers to better their job prospects.

It is hoped that this scheme will mean young people have much better job prospects as they enter the world of work.

Sarah McCarthy-Fry, chair of Solent LEP’s employment and skills board, said: ‘We are delighted that our bid to become a Careers Hub has been successful.

‘It gives us an opportunity to build on the early success of our Enterprise Adviser Network which has resulted in over 50 per cent of all secondary schools in the Solent having a volunteer business leader working collaboratively with them to improve careers provision.

‘Through our Careers Hub, we will provide further links for our young people of today to the careers of tomorrow.

‘Support from our local employers will be vital in ensuring connections are made to future career opportunities and our local workforce can continue pushing the boundaries of technology, innovation and business.

‘We hope to eventually see the Careers Hub rolled out to every school and college in the Solent.’

UTC Portsmouth is one of the schools that will benefit from the scheme.

Principal Ciaran O’Dowda said: ‘UTC Portsmouth is delighted to be the lead college in this partnership. We are a STEM college specialising in mechanical and electrical engineering and advanced manufacturing delivering A-levels and GCSEs.

‘As a college we have forged strong links with key employers in the local economy and are committed to helping cascade best practice to the wider network through the Careers Hub.’

The school prides itself on making connections between pupils and businesses through work experience – which pupils say has had a big impact.

Louis Whitelock, Year 10, said: ‘I went to BAE Systems for my work experience.

‘I got to see everything they do like taking apart torpedoes and their microtechnology.

‘It’s nice to build a relationship with a company and do something a bit different for work experience.’