FENLANDER: Manager appointed for new Fenland Enterprise in Education project

Schools and businesses should work together, says new manager of Fenland Enterprise in Education project.

A SUCCESSFUL businesswoman with extensive experience of working with schools and businesses of all sorts has taken up a new role as manager of an ambitious scheme designed to improve young people’s skills and job prospects and help employers identify new talent.

Katie Hart has just been appointed to coordinate the Fenland Enterprise in Education (FEE) project. She will be responsible for helping to build close relationships between businesses and schools or colleges throughout the district.

She will soon be contacting more than 50 businesses that have already pledged their support for the scheme.

The FEE project was launched at the Fenland Enterprise Business Awards in October. By bringing together employers, secondary schools and colleges in Fenland, it aims to help students develop their career aspirations and workplace skills, while also enabling employers to develop a pool of young people who have knowledge and experience relevant to their business.

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Ms Hart currently runs her own business offering support and training to private and public organisations.

Her new role is to support businesses to get involved with schools both in activities with students and in other ways, such as assisting with PR, recruitment or management mentoring.

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“I am passionate about encouraging schools and businesses to work together more often because I believe that both parties genuinely benefit from such interactions,” she said. “I’m delighted to have the chance to play such a pivotal role in this exciting project, shaping the future for Fenland businesses and people.”

The project has been developed by Fenland District Council, the Fenland Schools Partnership (a partnership of the Fenland secondary schools and the College of West Anglia) and the Chamber of Commerce in response to feedback from the Fenland Skills Summit, held in March 2011.

Councillor Chris Seaton, FDC’s Deputy Leader and portfolio holder responsible for the economy, said: “Improving skills levels is a high priority for us. Businesses and young people have told us that they want to see better coordination and consistency in the relationships between businesses and schools.

“We have worked hard with other members of the project team to develop a practical local solution to these issues, and we are excited to welcome Katie into this role.”

Jaqui Fairfax, chairman of the Fenland Chamber of Commerce, said: “This project will offer opportunities for young people to get the best possible start in their working life. I would urge businesses to support it and would like to thank those that already have.”

• Katie is keen to hear from any businesses that would like to be involved in this project. Call her on 07891 308050. For more details on the FEE project e-mail Amy Wilson at FDC at awilson@fenland.gov.uk

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