/ News / Preston business leader nominated for national careers award

A business leader from Lancashire has been nominated for a prestigious national accolade for his voluntary work in supporting a local school to develop its careers provision

Neil Conlon, the Business Development Manager for Preston-based Conlon Construction, is on the shortlist for Enterprise Adviser of the Year in the Careers Excellence Awards 2019.

Shuttleworth College and Pendleside Hospice, both in Burnley, and the Lancashire Careers Hub, have also been shortlisted in different categories for their high-quality careers provision.

The Careers & Enterprise Company run the nationwide awards in partnership with the Gatsby Foundation. They go to schools, colleges, employers, local areas and providers which demonstrate best practice in careers provision.

The awards ceremony will take place on Friday 27 September at the Royal Society of Chemistry in London.

Over the past few years, the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), working through the Lancashire Skills Hub, has launched a wide-ranging drive to improve careers education in the county, working closely with schools, colleges, local businesspeople and careers management delivery partner Inspira.

LEP Board Director for Skills and Technical Education and Chair of the Lancashire Skills and Employment Advisory Panel, Amanda Melton, said: “We are thrilled and proud that four nominations for these national awards come from Lancashire.

“Well done to the nominees for making the shortlist. They all thoroughly deserve this recognition.

“Following on from the recent success of eight local schools and colleges in being recognised as providing world-class careers education, these latest award nominations show that young people in the county can now access high standards of careers education across the board.

“As a result, they have better job prospects and businesses can access a wider talent pool, helping them grow and succeed.

“Hearing from business leaders like Neil, and the county’s other Enterprise Advisers, is proven to help young people in their careers and boost their employability.

“Through our Give an Hour campaign, we are asking more local businesspeople to volunteer a little of their time to work with local students.”

Mark Bowman, Chief Exec of Inspira said: “The nominations are a fantastic accolade for the all the hard work the careers partners, Enterprise Co-ordinators and Enterprise Advisers have done to connect the business world with education institutions in Lancashire.”

Mr Conlon was nominated for his role as Enterprise Adviser for Eden Boys’ School in Preston, which involves helping the school plan and develop its careers programme.

He is also a private sector member of the Lancashire Skills and Employment Advisory Panel, which works on strategy and planning for skills and jobs.

Mr Conlon said: “I am delighted to have been shortlisted for Enterprise Adviser of the Year.

“I would encourage other Lancashire businesses to get involved and help inspire our young people – it is a great way to boost links with your local community, raise the profile of your business to your future talent pool, but also make a difference to the lives and aspirations of our young people.”

The Lancashire Careers Hub was nominated for Careers Hub of the Year in the Careers Excellence Awards.   

The hub brings schools and colleges together with universities, training providers, employers and career professionals with the aim of providing a ‘gold standard’ in careers education for local students.

Shuttleworth College was nominated for School of the Year in the awards, for an excellent careers programme meeting all eight Gatsby Benchmarks – the Ofsted-recognised standard for world-class careers provision.

The college is lead school for the Lancashire Careers Hub and Head Teacher, Ruth England, is on the Lancashire Skills and Employment Advisory Panel.

Mrs England said: “We are thrilled with the nomination for School of the Year. The business and education networks we have been able to build as part of the Careers Hub and working alongside the LEP have been great.

“It is fantastic to see more and more of our young people benefitting from quality encounters with employers and training providers. We look forward to developing these networks yet further this year.”

Pendleside Hospice was nominated for Small to Medium Business of the Year for delivering a tailored careers programme to schools or colleges, with an innovative approach.

Chief Executive Helen McVey is an Enterprise Adviser and the hospice is very proactive in working in its community with schools and colleges and inspiring young people.

She said: “We are thrilled that Pendleside Hospice has been nominated as small to medium business of the year.  This is testimony to the time staff from the hospice have given to inspire young people across Burnley and Pendle.

“I would encourage more businesses to support the Give and Hour campaign, investing in both your current and future workforce.”