Cheshire and Warrington launch trail-blazing £2.3m employer pledge programme | Knutsford Times

Cheshire and Warrington launch trail-blazing £2.3m employer pledge programme

By on June 25, 2019

Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership along with North West charity, Youth Fed have launched a £2.3 million programme to transform Cheshire and Warrington’s approach to careers development.

Partly funded from the European Social Fund (ESF), the Pledge Partnership will inspire, inform and communicate to ensure young people explore what opportunities are available to them, help them to make informed decisions and engage with local employers.

The Pledge will support hundreds of employers to work more closely with schools, colleges, charities, youth and community groups and reach up to 12,000 learners.

Over 200 employers, youth groups and education establishments from across Cheshire and Warrington attended the launch held at Alderley Park Conference Centre on Friday 21st June, to mark the start of the programme which builds on a pilot scheme that has been running successfully in Crewe, Macclesfield and Middlewich for the past 3 years.  The funding will extend the programme creating an employer-led and governed network of 10 Pledge Partnerships covering all areas of Cheshire and Warrington.  Each local Pledge will act as the glue between businesses, schools and young people, allowing them to connect at a local level, and identify pathways into their chosen careers whilst also helping businesses to build close relationships with their future workforce.

Paul Colman, Chair of the Crewe Pledge and Chief Executive of South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce said “The local pledges provide an excellent platform for businesses to engage with schools and young people in a much more co-ordinated manner, that will help achieve greater outcomes for all.  A key issue for the business community is the mismatch between the career choices of young people and the needs of the local economy.  The Pledge will provide companies with the opportunities to showcase the excellent careers available locally.”

Clare Hayward MBE DL, Chair of the LEP Employer Skills and Education Board said “We are delighted to be extending the Pledge Partnership and securing funding to this level is testament to the scheme’s success so far, which has supported over 10,000 young people and over 100 businesses in the last three years.

The vision is that young people will know what opportunities are available to them, what skills they need to develop and how to engage successfully with employers.

This is critical to the success of our region and the future of our next generation”.

The Pledge Partnership will sit within the Cheshire and Warrington LEPs Business Growth Hub, which provides access to impartial support and advice for people starting, running and growing businesses.

Balfour Beatty are one such company that has worked with the pilot Pledges.  Kevin Hutchinson, Performance Manager for Balfour Beatty added “This is a great opportunity for Balfour Beatty as it allows us to support our supply chain in the area to help develop and recruit future talent.”

Any employers, education partners or other interested stakeholders are encouraged to get involved by contacting Trevor Langston on

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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