Students at a school in Marlborough will have the opportunity to quiz a leading Wiltshire lawyer about negotiating their transition from education to the world of work and enhancing their future prospects.
Fiona Kellow, partner and head of private client at Thrings, has been appointed Enterprise Adviser by St John’s International Academy and the Careers & Enterprise Company, where she will develop employer-led career strategies for students with senior leaders.
In her voluntary role as Enterprise Adviser, Fiona will work closely with St John’s senior leadership team and its Careers & Work-Related Learning (WRL) Manager for the equivalent of one day each month to help identify any gaps in students’ careers and enterprise activities and enhance their future employment prospects.
Using her extensive knowledge and understanding of the local labour market, Fiona will also advise students on the best way to engage with employers, and signpost useful activities and programmes that St John’s may wish to build into its careers and enterprise strategy.
This will include fostering strong relationships with pupils’ parents and guardians – many of whom have interesting and diverse links with Marlborough and the wider Wiltshire business community – to facilitate opportunities for students.
The arrangement between Thrings and St John’s has been facilitated by the Swindon & Wiltshire Enterprise Adviser Network, which connects local employers with schools and colleges in the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.
Fiona said: “It is a huge honour to become an Enterprise Adviser, and to have the opportunity to support and advise pupils from St John’s as they begin the countdown to leaving full-time education and prepare to enter the world of work.
“One of the main aims of this initiative is to create positive outcomes for young people and ensure they leave school with the skills required by employers in the local, national and international labour market.”
Fiona’s appointment marks a continuation of the long-running partnership between Thrings and St John’s, a relationship which has included Thrings giving careers talks, attending careers fairs and conducting mock interviews to help St John’s students prepare for the world of employment. Several year 10 pupils have also completed successful periods of work experience at Thrings’ offices in Marlborough, Swindon, Bath and Bristol.
Fiona Havill, careers & WRL manager at St John’s, said: “Fiona has always been a fantastic supporter of St John’s and for many years has generously given up her time to be involved in a variety of career-related activities. We are very excited about working more closely with Fiona as our Enterprise Adviser and hope to use this opportunity to support new initiatives and further develop local employer links.
“We want students to develop a greater understanding of the world of work – the diversity of opportunities within the workplace, an increase in the choice of progression routes and the recognition of valuable employability skills – and Fiona will be a huge asset in developing these areas.”
Nicola Randy, employment and skills officer and enterprise coordinator who works for Wiltshire Council and the Careers and Enterprise Company (CEC), said: “Wiltshire Council’s Employment and Skills team and the CEC are delighted that Fiona has agreed to become an Enterprise Adviser, joining a national network of advisers established by the CEC.
“This network connects schools and colleges with employers and careers programme providers, to work together to create meaningful encounters with the world of work for young people. I am looking forward to working with Fiona, supporting the students at St John’s in making informed decisions about their future and helping them achieve against those choices.”
Fiona Kellow added: “The labour market remains extremely competitive, and employers are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to the skills they require of prospective employees. As an Enterprise Adviser, I will be looking to strengthen St John’s’ employer engagement strategy, support the development of the future workforce and help students get a head start in their careers.”
Pictured above: Fiona Kellow (left) with Fiona Havill, careers & work-related learning manager at St John’s.