careers and enterprise coMore than £294,000 will be invested in mentoring programmes in the South East LEP area (East Sussex, Essex, Kent, Medway, Southend & Thurrock)  in a bid to boost social mobility and support young people who are at risk of not fulfilling their full potential at school.

The government-backed Careers & Enterprise Company has announced the successful bidders for its Investment Fund with five organisations in the South East LEP area set to benefit.

The fund will focus on students who are about to begin their GCSEs but risk under achieving and falling behind their peers. This can impact on their future earning potential and career later in life.

In total, the company will distribute first-round funding worth more than £3.5million to 39 mentoring organisations across the country, targeting almost 20,000 students. This is part of a wider first tranche of a £12million fund administered by the Company to scale up tried and tested employer mentoring programmes to create a new generation of mentors from the business community.

The successful applicants in the SELEP area are:


Organisation  Funding Geography Focus
Think Forward  £46,293.80 Kent only ThinkForward ensure young people underperforming at school receive long-term support to transition from school to sustained employment.
ELBA (East London Business Alliance)  £ 57,821.67 Cross LEP (and other LEP areas also) East London Business Alliance mentoring matches students to business volunteers to support with planning their future career and skills for the world of work.
Young Enterprise  £39,277.48 Cross LEP (and other LEP areas also) Young Enterprise is the UK’s leading charity connecting 300 business mentors with 3000 pre GCSE students.
Southend on Sea Council  £88,300.24 Southend, Thurrock, Basildon, Castle Point, Rochford The 60 Minute Mentor programme works towards ensuring all young people in South Essex have access to an inspirational role model.
Help me I’m a Medic  £62,332.84 Cross LEP (and other LEP areas also) Help Me I’m a Medic empowers and supports people from all social backgrounds to fulfil their dreams of working in health.

The fund is part of the government’s broader commitment to level up opportunities and create a country that works for everyone.

SELEP Chairman Christian Brodie said: “This funding demonstrates the really valuable role that business can play in inspiring young people with important life changing decisions, there is so much talent and experience in our business community and it is wonderful to see this being used for positive effect to help young people on their way to sustainable careers and to achieve their goals.”

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister and Harlow MP Robert Halfon said: “We want a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few. A good mentor can be instrumental in unlocking a young person’s potential and these grants will help more young people benefit from that, ensuring they are climbing the ladder of opportunity and that there is no limit on their ambition.

“Mentoring helps improve focus and attainment, raises aspirations and provides valuable support – especially for those who are underachieving or at risk of dropping out of education.”

Research from The Careers and Enterprise Company published earlier this year found young peoples’ level of engagement with education varied significantly by region and showed a clear north/south divide with the most disengaged regions in the north of the country.

Claudia Harris, CEO of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “Too many young people across England are at risk of not achieving their full potential. This can have a lasting impact on their future and career later in life.

“Employer mentoring is a powerful way to address this issue by helping young people get inspired about the world of work.

Our fund will work to unlock this inspiration by scaling up proven mentoring programmes to help boost social mobility and give young people great life changing experiences.

“I would encourage anyone who wants to get involved in mentoring to step forward and join this mentoring movement and make a real difference to the lives of young people in their local community.”

The Company hasalso announced that the next round of investment from its careers and enterprise fund is now open for applications. The Company will invest more than £5million to support those pupils in secondary schools and colleges most in need. This includes £1million to scale up high quality programmes in the six government identified Opportunity Areas of West Somerset, Norwich, Blackpool, Scarborough, Oldham and Derby.

For more information on the Company’s mentoring campaign visit



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Kent business news