Blackburn businessman receives award for voluntary work with local school

A Blackburn businessman has been congratulated for winning a national award recognising his voluntary work as an Enterprise Adviser with a local school.

Mo Isap was named North West Enterprise Advisor of the Year at The Careers & Enterprise Company’s annual conference. The accolade was presented by The Rt Hon. the Lord Young of Graffham.

Mr Isap is an Enterprise Adviser with Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School (TIGHS), on Preston New Road, Blackburn.

Enterprise Advisers are business leaders who work with a local secondary school in a voluntary capacity to give pupils an insight into local businesses and help them make informed choices about their future careers.

The Enterprise Adviser scheme, which is funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company and Lancashire County Council, and is led by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, has so far been rolled out to half of secondary schools in Lancashire by Inspira.

Mr Isap said: “It is a privilege and an honour to be working with colleagues at Tauheedul Girls High School, Inspira and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, a real ‘dream team’ that dedicates so much to making the incredible possible for our young people.

“The Careers & Enterprise Company is leading the way in showing how business and education can collaborate in making real the opportunities and aspirations of our future generations.”

Mr Isap was nominated by Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director of the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub, which is part of the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP), along with Kay Vaughan, Inspira’s Enterprise Co-ordinator in Blackburn and Burnley. 

Dr Lawty-Jones said: “We are delighted that Mo has won this award. It is a just reward for his passion and energy in supporting Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School to develop its careers and enterprise offer and his work encouraging local employers to engage with pupils. It also recognises the work of all our Enterprise Advisers across the county.

“We have 47 business leaders working as volunteer Enterprise Advisers and they are making a huge difference to young people, whilst also raising awareness of the range of fantastic businesses and job opportunities that exist locally.

“We are seeking more business leaders to volunteer to work with local schools, so if anyone wants to follow the fantastic example that Mo has set, we’d love to hear from you.”

Mufti Hamid Patel, the Chief Executive of Tauheedul Education Trust, said: Mo has been a tireless champion of careers and enterprise education for many years.

“He is someone with an inspiring vision of our young women as leaders and entrepreneurs – and the passion and talents to make this vision a reality.

“Through his sustained efforts and support, we have had more students apply for the most prestigious of universities, take up apprenticeships and complete courses and activities to become better entrepreneurs.

“We have also transformed our careers education and guidance for our learners – making it more engaging, with much improved relevance and appeal.  This award is richly deserved.” 

Ms Vaughan said: “For Mo to win this award is deserved recognition for his dedication to offering strategic thought as an Enterprise Adviser to Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School.

“Mo has played a lead role in forging valuable links with local and national employers, inviting them into TIGHS for careers events and raising pupils’ awareness of careers and enterprise.

“His support has helped the school to develop a work experience programme that is more meaningful to the pupils and has greater impact on their career and training choices. Through his work, TIGHS pupils are encouraged to explore non-traditional careers and routes to employment. It is a fantastic result.”

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “These awards are our small way of celebrating this growing national movement that is helping young people transition from education into employment. It was inspiring to see the impact of our Enterprise Advisers and how local careers and enterprise experts are forging strategic partnerships with employers to support thousands of young people into work.”

Mr Isap is Director of Group Strategy for Manchester-based Hobs Plc and Chair of the Blackburn with Darwen Local Strategic Partnership. He is also now the Enterprise Adviser for Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School.

Held in Sheffield, The Careers & Enterprise Company’s first annual Joining The Dots awards aimed to shine a light on best practice in employer engagement and mentoring within UK schools and colleges and celebrate the great work done by teachers, LEPs and senior business volunteers who are part of The Careers & Enterprise Company’s network.

Notes for editors

The Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub works to develop future talent and increase skill levels among Lancashire’s workforce in-line with the needs of business, which is a key part of LEP’s ambitious strategic plan to grow the county’s economy by £3bn and create 50,000 jobs over the next decade.

Set up by the LEP and its Skills and Employment Board, the Hub aims to support a balanced, skilled and inclusive labour market though expanding apprenticeships, creating more training places and improving the employability and life chances of young people, as well as enabling Lancashire residents to access the job opportunities created by the LEP.  See here for further information: www.lancashireskillshub.co.uk

The Lancashire Enterprise Adviser Network delivered by Inspira has been rolled out to 67 schools across Lancashire and will be rolled out to remaining schools starting later this year.

Evidence suggests that four memorable employer encounters increase the likelihood that a young person will go into employment, education and training after leaving school or college by up to 86 percent, increase earning potential by 18 percent and improve attainment.

The approach is enabling young people to gain a valuable insight into the priority sectors in Lancashire – where there is demand from employers for new talent – and helping them to better understand different routes to employment, for example through apprenticeships.

The Lancashire network was also recognised at the Annual National Careers and Enterprise Company Conference.

Tauheedul Education Trust (TET) is a mixed multi-academy trust that runs both faith-based and non-faith primary and secondary schools across the UK. TET is a values-based organisation that works to improve the life chances of young people in areas of social and economic deprivation to help them succeed at the highest levels of education, employment and the professions. For more information about Tauheedul Education Trust, visit www.tetrust.org.

Inspira is a leading provider of careers management and personal development programmes in the North West of England. Inspira delivers a number of programmes in Lancashire on behalf of The Careers & Enterprise Company and the LEP. www.inspira.org.uk

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