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Derby City Council careers scheme welcomes new chair from University of Derby

Derby City Council careers scheme welcomes new chair from University of Derby

A careers initiative which has helped thousands of secondary school pupils across Derby has welcomed a new chair.

Enterprise for Education (E4E) has appointed Louise Pigden, Deputy Dean of the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Derby, to the role. She replaces Mike Copestake, who has been involved with the Derby City Council-backed scheme since it was launched in 2014. 

E4E was created in a bid to link employers with secondary schools and students in the city. The public-private sector organisation offers mock interviews, CV workshops and mentoring, with employees from organisations in Derby - including Rolls-Royce, Alstrom, Toyota and the University - all volunteering their time.

Louise said:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed chair of E4E – and I have some big boots to fill; Mike has done a brilliant job for the past eight years and he was the person who suggested I join the board at E4E because of my background in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.)

“I have a keen interest in outreach work and do a lot of that for the University. The core mission of E4E has always been to inspire the school children of Derby to achieve great things, open their eyes to opportunities, and to do this by introducing them to fantastic volunteers from Derby’s employers.  

“And, as a volunteer, I have witnessed first-hand how impactful it can be; it is a joy to talk to young people about their aspirations, to positively influence them, give them ideas or a little bit of practice by taking part in mock interviews or CV Workshops. 

“I’m looking forward to taking on this position, which aligns to the University’s wider civic agenda, helping to transform people’s lives and creative positive impact.”

During March 2019 to March 2020, just before Covid-19 arrived, E4E delivered to 15,709 young people in Derby, the highest in any 12-month period. This represents impressive numbers of employer volunteers and volunteering activity.

Througout lockdown, delivery was massively affected. However, E4E switched to online delivery and still made an impact on 3,384 students.

E4E is bouncing back now and during 2021/22 is on course to deliver to 8,241 students.

Louise says that she will use her connections – and those of the University of Derby – to help E4E reach those students.

“Our Vice Chancellor, Professor Kathryn Mitchell CBE DL, chairs the Derby Opportunity Area and there are several inter-relationships between the University and Opportunity Area, plus Derby City Council,” said Louise.

“There are lots of overlapping agendas and objectives, so it’s really good to think of ways in which we can all work together productively.

“Recent partnerships and collaborations that E4E has been involved with include the Derby School Debate competition, where we worked with the Derby & District Law Society and University of Derby, Laptops for Students (E4E, Rolls-Royce, Derby City Council and Derby County Community Trust) and the Derby Festival of Discovery, which saw us work alongside Learn By Design, Rolls-Royce, University of Derby, Toyota and many more local employers.

“The E4E mission is to help raise aspirations and bridge the gap in educational attainment. I’m honoured to have been appointed chair and I am looking forward to continuing the good work.”


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