A NEW careers hub is being set up to improve opportunities for young people in the West of England, including South Gloucestershire.

Funding of £220,000 has been secured by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) from the Careers & Enterprise Company to establish the new service that will initially work with 25 schools and colleges across South Gloucestershire, Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset and North Somerset, including Brimsham Green in Yate and Marlwood School in Alveston.

The schools and colleges will be supported to improve careers opportunities and work experiences for young people, allowing them to make more informed choices about their careers.

West of England mayor Tim Bowles said: “Our region is home to over 40,000 businesses and has one of the highest skilled workforces in the country.

“We have many high-quality jobs and we want to give locally grown talent every opportunity to secure employment here in our region.

“The new careers hub will ensure young people have more opportunities to connect with the world of work and potential future employers.

“Evidence shows that if a student has four or more opportunities to engage with an employer, they are more likely to secure employment, and earn more during their career.”

There are currently 40 Enterprise Advisors in the West of England, who are trained volunteers from the local business community. They work with headteachers and school leaders, sharing their knowledge and experiences and helping to deliver better careers support and work experience opportunities.

The network is looking for more professionals from local businesses to volunteer as Enterprise Advisors. If you are interested in getting involved please contact enterprise@westofengland.org.

Professor Steve West, chairman of the West of England LEP, said the initiative was ‘great news’ for the region.

He said: “The new hub will play a key role in the long-term success of our economy, building on the success of our existing enterprise adviser network, and strong partnerships with UWE, schools, colleges, and businesses to ensure young people get timely and relevant careers advice and meaningful work experience.”

Additional funds for the hub will be provided by WECA, the LEP and Future Quest.