Lancashire Telegraph:

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson met business leaders and school students at the Academy of Skills and Knowledge near Preston last week to see how the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership aims to provide opportunities to local young people.

The partnership, which was set up in 2011, brings together businesses, universities and local councils in order to encourage investment in the region and has helped establish the Lancashire Careers Enterprise Hub.

During his visit as part of National Careers Week, Mr Williamson met year 10 students from Padiham’s Shuttleworth College at the Academy, which is run by defence and security company BAE Systems, along with the company’s own apprentices.

Mr Williamson said: “Good careers advice is vital for young people to learn about the world of work and choose a route that is best suited to their skills and talents.”

He added: “It was brilliant to meet students and apprentices from Shuttleworth College and hear about the great work being done by BAE Systems to make sure young people get the skills and knowledge they need for the jobs of the future.”

The students were also able to share their experiences of careers education.

The Lancashire Careers Enterprise Hub is part of a network of 40 such hubs nationwide.

Each hub is made up of between 20 and 40 schools and aims to forge partnerships with businesses in their region in order to boost career prospects for young people.

The Lancashire Enterprise Board is one such organisation which helps run the local hub.

The board was represented at Thursday’s event by chair Steve Fogg.

Speaking of his meeting with the minister, Mr Fogg said: “We are delighted that the Education Secretary is visiting Lancashire to see our award-winning Careers Hub in action.

“Schools and colleges offer high standards of careers provision across the board in Lancashire and the Enterprise Adviser Network and the Careers Hub have helped achieve that, working collaboratively with business.

“Through this kind of excellent careers provision, we are improving the job prospects of young people and creating the pipeline of talent that local businesses need to thrive.”