A network of enterprise advisers from the Careers and Enterprise Company will work with schools in 28 areas from this month.
The advisers, volunteers from “the world of work”, will operate directly with school and college leaders to “bridge the gap between the worlds of education and employment”.
The initiative is the first to be announced by the company, set up by education secretary Nicky Morgan to prepare young people for the “fast-changing world of work”.
Advisers will help schools and colleges to build careers and enterprise, and employer engagement plans, drawing on their own local business networks.
They will be supported by full-time coordinators who will have tools to lay out the range of programmes available, including speakers in schools, CV and skill building, and work experience.
Claudia Harris, chief executive of the company, said: “The world of work is changing fast and equipping young people requires ever closer engagement between employment and education.
“Our role is to shine a light on the many excellent schemes that exist today, fills gaps and improve coverage.
“The enterprise adviser network will allow us to do this, helping schools connect more smoothly to the many excellent employer-engagement schemes that already exist, and increasing engagement where today it is limited.”
Nicky Morgan says the enterprise adviser network is a “significant milestone” for the company, that signals its commitment – “shared by this government” – to giving young people across the country a first-hand insight into the world of work.
The roll-out follows a set of pilots over the past year. A second wave of areas across the country will start before Christmas, with a third following in early 2016.
Lord Young of Graffham said: “Two out of three young people in school today will end up working for small businesses in this country.
Enterprise advisers will provide the motivation for young people to appreciate the relevance of school by bringing them closer to this new entrepreneurial employment landscape.”
To engage with the network, employers should contact their local enterprise partnership, who will put them in touch with their local coordinator.