BESS and the Careers & Enterprise Company

After many months of discussions, BESS is delighted to announce that we’ll be working closely with the Careers and Enterprise Company in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP region!

A lack of skilled workers across the sector remains an issue in the Midlands construction market, according to new research.

The RICS Construction Market Survey, covering the final quarter of 2016, suggests skill shortages were the most notable across the Midlands in this period. This quarter, 75 per cent of respondents highlighted this to be an issue – the highest figure since 2007, the report said.” Birmingham Post, 6 February 2017

Birmingham is booming, and we need to support local young people to consider careers in construction. This opportunity will see the construction sector offered priority for supporting local schools with employer engagement

The Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC) was established by government 18 months ago to create lasting connections between local businesses and the schools and colleges in the area, delivering exposure to the world of work for all. This programme is already in place across much of the country, and Birmingham is one of the last areas to start

The CEC’s Enterprise Advisor Network bridges the gap between education and employers by pairing individual volunteer Enterprise Advisors with a school or college to help build a strategic employer engagement plan. You can find out more about the Enterprise Adviser Network here –

Even employers that already have a good relationship with a school will need to become part of that school’s strategic employer engagement plan (as an Industry Champion), delivered by the school’s appointed Enterprise Advisor

CEC already have more than 1,500 Enterprise Advisors in place across the country, and they have provided careers opportunities for over 1 MILLION young people. Enterprise Advisors are matched with schools by Enterprise Coordinators, who take responsibility for all the schools in an area. Enterprise Coordinators also create a calendar of local events and activities to ensure young people have as many careers encounters as possible

Kathryn Lennon-Johnson, our BESS founder, had this message for construction employers:

“In most regions, the Local Enterprise Partnership has taken responsibility for delivering CEC’s requirements locally. However, in Birmingham this has been outsourced to the Birmingham Education Partnership (BEP), overseen by Director of Operations, John Garrett. BEP has taken the approach to appoint Enterprise Coordinators matched to priority sectors – Construction, Professional Services, Digital and Retail. And employers from these sectors will take the majority of the Enterprise Advisor roles

And I am your Birmingham Enterprise Coordinator for Construction!

Because the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP are not delivering this programme, BEP and Enterprise Coordinators must match-fund the government’s investment themselves before any work can begin. Digital and Professional Services have already secured their match-funding from their own local employer base. Now it’s construction’s turn to contribute £12,500 match-funding

This amount does not need to be covered by one organisation – in fact, it would be much more beneficial to receive support from employers across the construction sector

I look forward to working with you,


To find out more about how your company could benefit from being involved, click here to see the Employer Benefits