DD2333 London Enterprise Adviser Network (LEAN) in Croydon

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Date signed: 
13 March 2019
Decision by: 
Sarah Mulley, Assistant Director for Communities and Social Policy

Executive summary

The London Enterprise Adviser Network (LEAN) matches senior business professionals with careers leaders in schools to support them to develop a careers strategy that recognises all sectors and pathways into employment. Currently the LEAN provides strategic support to 125 schools across 18 boroughs, through a network of over 200 Enterprise Advisers (volunteers drawn from the business community).

Expenditure of up to £ 2.668m (comprising up to £1.268m external funding from the Careers & Enterprise Company and £1.4m GLA funding) was approved under cover of MD2262 for the expansion of the LEAN from 2018-2020. The expansion did not include schools and colleges in Croydon as Croydon was, at that time, part of Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

With the change in Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) boundaries, Croydon will join the London LEP (LEAP) area. This decision seeks the approval for the receipt of LEAP Programme funding and external funding and expenditure of external and GLA funding to include Croydon in the LEAN delivery.


That the Executive Director of Communities and Intelligence approves the GLA’s:

1. Receipt of £30,000 external funding from the Careers & Enterprise Company; and

2. Expenditure of up to £60,000 to support the delivery of the London Enterprise Adviser Network until end of August 2020, comprising up to £30,000 external funding and £30,000 LEAP funding.

*Note this will take total expenditure on LEAN over the period 2018-2020 to £2.728m.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Enterprise Adviser Network (EAN) is a national programme that supports social mobility through matching up to two senior business volunteers (Enterprise Advisers) with a school’s careers leader to support them to increase business engagement with the school and develop a whole-school careers strategy and employer engagement plan that is representative of all pathways into employment and considers all sectors.

The volunteers and schools are supported by paid employees called Enterprise Coordinators (EC). Each EC has up to 25 schools or colleges and oversees a portfolio of up to 40 Enterprise Advisers (EAs). These roles are match funded by the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC).

The Mayor approved expenditure of up to £ 2.668m, under cover of MD2262, to support the expansion of the London Enterprise Adviser Network for the period September 2018 to August 2020, comprising up to £1.268m CEC funding and £1.4m GLA funding.

Delivery of the network in Croydon was originally co-funded and delivered by Coast to Capital LEP but Croydon will now become part of the London LEP area from April 2019. This means the borough of Croydon will now be included in the delivery for the London LEP area.

It is proposed therefore, that the GLA’s Contract for services covering the LEAN South sub-region (which was procured in accordance with the Public Contracts Regulations 2015) will be varied to include the Croydon delivery. This will include an additional EC and the associated project service costs for Croydon.

Objectives and expected outcomes

This further investment would allow us to offer the LEAN to 100% of mainstream secondary schools, PRUs and colleges in the London LEP area.

We expect 80% of mainstream secondary schools, PRUs and colleges to participate in the expanded LEAN. With the inclusion of Croydon, the ambition is for LEAN to engage with:

• 490 schools and colleges, including pupil referral units (an additional 20 from Croydon);
• 720 senior business volunteers (Enterprise Advisers) (an additional 20 from Croydon); and
• All boroughs in the London LEP area.

Croydon will now benefit from the same support from the LEAN as the rest of London. The programme will enhance the capacity of participating schools and colleges to deliver quality careers education – providing school careers leads with personalised support to improve careers provision. We expect to see an increase in the average number of Gatsby Benchmarks achieved by London schools (2.0 out of 8 is the current London average). We also expect to increased levels of teacher confidence in knowledge of career pathways such as apprenticeships, higher apprenticeships and T-Levels. Through these mechanisms, the programme will improve access to high quality careers provision for young people studying at participating schools and colleges.

The inclusion of Croydon within the programme will give the GLA direct and ongoing relationships with careers leaders in the majority of London’s secondary schools and colleges. These relationships provide a mechanism for staff to signpost schools and colleges to other elements of the Mayor’s developing offer for London careers support.

Equality comments

Research by the Education and Employers’ Taskforce has been reviewed prior to the planning of this programme. Young people who have four or more encounters with the world of work while at school are 86% less likely to become NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and will earn up to 22% more. The LEAN aims to increase business engagement in schools and advance equality of opportunity so that every young person can have the chance to meet employers and experience work places therefore reducing the risk of them becoming NEET, regardless of race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment.

The Enterprise Adviser Network has worked with careers leaders in each school to address the needs of every cohort of students The lessons learned from this have been reviewed and incorporated into the new programme, ensuring equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic (race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment) and persons who do not share it, and to ensure the programme will foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

The development of the expanded LEAN programme has been informed by a review of the government’s Industrial Strategy, which states that there is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) skills gap in the UK and girls are less likely to choose STEM subjects at A Level than boys. For this reason, we have worked with STEM Learning to recruit volunteers with a STEM background which will advance equality of opportunity for young people, specifically girls, in London.

We have worked with cross sector organisations to ensure our pool of over 200 Enterprise Advisers are diverse (in terms of race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment), therefore fostering good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.

Other considerations

The Department for Education’s (DfE) National Careers Strategy, “Careers strategy: making the most of everyone’s skills and talents” and Statutory Guidance states that access to the Enterprise Adviser Network will be available to all secondary schools and colleges to support careers education. If funding is not secured Croydon’s schools and colleges would not receive this support. Government has committed to match-funding contributions from local areas to help achieve full coverage of the EAN in each LEP area. Funding for the current LEAN does not cover Croydon. If the project does not proceed, there are reputational risks for the LEAP and Mayor, especially given the high demand for careers support so this funding will mitigate this risk by providing funding in Croydon.

This investment in the LEAN will give London a careers support co-ordination function, which could be used going forward to direct and co-ordinate other elements of the Mayor’s Careers for Londoners Action Plan and is now able to include Croydon as an integrated part of the London offer, rather than being part of another LEP area.

The LEAN supports the achievement of a variety of Mayoral Strategies including, the Mayor’s Skills for Londoners Strategy, Sport for all of us, The Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy for London and the Mayor’s Culture for all Londoners Strategy.

Financial comments

Approval is sought for expenditure of up to £60,000 to support the delivery of the London Enterprise Adviser Network.

The expenditure will be funded from the GLA’s 2019-20 LEAP Programme budget (£30k), and external income to be received from the Careers & Enterprise Company (£30k), for which approval is also requested.

Activity table



Procurement of contract [for externally delivered projects]

March 2019

Delivery Start Date [for project proposals]

April 2019

Final evaluation:

August 2020

Delivery End Date:

August 2020

Project Closure:

September 2020