The Career Excellence Awards, which are run by The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC), celebrate individuals and organisations helping to deliver world-class careers provision in schools and colleges across England.

The ‘Enterprise Adviser of the Year’ is awarded to someone who delivers best practice careers support. This year’s winner and CIPD Chartered Member, Anna Smith, has been an Enterprise Adviser since 2017 when she was matched with Landau Forte College Academy in Derby.

Drawing on her experience as a HR consultant, she works closely with the school’s Careers Lead, Helen Suffolk-Adams, and describes her role as being a ‘sounding board’ and ‘critical friend’.

Helen says: “Collaboratively, we have driven the careers agenda forward across the college. From the onset, Anna has brought out the best in me, which has had a very positive impact on the careers advice and guidance we deliver.”

Anna also works closely with the school’s senior leadership team, parents and her own business networks to maximise opportunities for students. Her dedication and hard work even led to one student being recruited to start an apprenticeship with an employer who had never offered them before. 

Another student commented: “Anna was great. She clearly outlined what an employer would look for when completing a psychometric test. She showed us how each element of the test would examine our suitability for that job role. I could tell she had lots of experience in talking with other students about their careers, and I felt confident in her ability to help improve my presentation in an interview situation”.

Speaking about her win, Anna said: “I was incredibly chuffed, not only to be shortlisted for the Enterprise Adviser of the Year award, but to be nominated was actually really unexpected. I thoroughly enjoy the work I do with Landau and with the wider Enterprise Adviser network, but being recognised is pretty special.”

The CIPD, working in partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company, has recruited more than 800 volunteers from the HR community for the Enterprise Adviser programme since it launched in 2015. 

Now made up of more than 2,500 volunteers, the Enterprise Adviser Network – senior level volunteers from the world of business – work with head teachers and leadership teams in schools and colleges in England to help them understand the local labour market and develop a whole school careers education strategy.

Peter Cheese, Chief Executive of the CIPD, said: 

“We are very proud of our connections with the Careers and Enterprise Company and the Enterprise Advisors programme in particular where many of our members have volunteered in helping connect schools with businesses and young people with the world of work. So I am really delighted to see Anna being recognised as ‘Enterprise Adviser of the Year’ for the commitment and support she has shown, and in making a difference. Many congratulations from all of us.

"For all of our members who have volunteered, I want to thank you all for what you are doing, but also know you get something very important out of this as well in your own development and in helping young people finding their future careers and opportunities." 

To find out how to become an Enterprise Adviser please click here.

To find out more about The Careers & Enterprise Company, please click here.

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