The North East Local Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) latest enterprise adviser is Rob Dodds, who works with The Link School in Sunderland to help increase awareness of career opportunities in the automotive industry and up-skill the next generation of young people for when they leave education and move into the world of work.
Rob, apprentice coordinator at Sunderland-based car parts manufacturer, Unipres (UK) (a supplier to Nissan) volunteers as an enterprise adviser as part of the North East LEP’s drive to bring business leaders into schools and shape careers provision.
His work forms part of the LEP’s wider skills programme of activity to identify and plug skills gaps, and equip young people with the knowledge, skills and abilities employers look for in the future workforce.
Rob works with and supports The Link School, which, until Rob’s support, did not have access to industry. Students now take part in the Industrial Cadets programme at Unipres, learning about every aspect of the business and gaining insights into working in the automotive industry.
Rob also holds careers talks with Unipres apprentices at the school, enabling students to talk and relate to people near their own age who are currently working in the automotive industry.
Rob says: “The Enterprise Adviser initiative provides the link for schools to get in touch with employers.
“It helps youngsters to decide what they want to do in future, and we try to link it in with their curriculum.
“The skills shortage in the North East region is pretty big and Unipres, as a large employer, believes it is important to put something back.
“If we even got one person through the door interested in a career in the automotive industry, we’d consider our work at The Link School a success.”