Guest Article – Careers Wales
Two Wrexham-based businesses have been presented with Valued Partner Awards by Careers Wales for their work to support young people with careers learning.
Litegreen and Charles Owen received Most Supportive Small Business and Best Newcomer respectively from presenter Huw Stephens at the live awards ceremony on Tuesday 8 November at the Parkgate Hotel in Cardiff.
These highly anticipated awards are a chance for Careers Wales to recognise employers who have delivered impactful and engaging careers experiences to pupils in Wales over the last twelve months.
Careers Wales works with schools and employers across the country to facilitate employer engagement activity, from high-impact regional careers fairs through to individual school activities, so young people are informed about the world of work, priority sectors and their career options.
Energy efficiency specialists Litegreen have supported a huge number of pupils at local school, Ysgol y Grango, through a wealth of activities, including an employability skills workshop, employer speed networking, an enterprise challenge, mock interviews and sessions to raise awareness of green issues.
The company have also supported Ysgol y Grango with their nurture garden that provides effective support and learning for the most vulnerable pupils at the school. Company director David Walker is an ex-pupil and has provided an alumni talk and given a valuable insight into his career journey.
Shanone Towers, a director of Litegreen said: “We’re really pleased to win this award – even the nomination just felt really rewarding. It has a different impact on you when someone else nominates you.
“We take this all very seriously. I used to train as a teacher, and when we set up Litegreen five years ago, it was on the agreement that I could keep a toe in youth work.”
David added: “Just sitting down for 10/15 minutes with the young people and doing a mock interview or talking to them, you see little snippets of skills and things you can tease things out of them.
“I like to think that they leave with just a little bit more confidence about their own set of skills and the things that they can do.”
Careers Wales Business Engagement Adviser Lesley Lloyd, who works closely with Litegreen said: “Shanone and David, the directors at Litegreen are a superb model of a school-employer partnership, and a company investing in the lives and futures of local young people.
As well as working with their partnered school, Ysgol Y Grango, Litegreen donates time and skills to support a number of education business events across the county.”
Charles Owen, a manufacturer of world-leading riding helmets, have worked with many schools in the Wrexham county. The company has supported mentoring interviews, enterprise days, apprentice talks and provided a digital interview skills and CV writing resource for schools.
They encourage all their staff to donate their time and skills to help support the project and have signed up to become a school partner to strengthen their support to pupils.
Anna Phillips, Head of HR at Charles Owen, said: “We’re really pleased to win the award – we really wanted to reach out to our community and help the younger generation.
“We really enjoyed doing the mock interviews, the apprentice talks, and we are working currently on getting young people into our factories so they can have more of an insight themselves.
“There are more roles in manufacturing than just in the factory and it’s nice for young people to see all the other opportunities available to them.
“We’re looking forward to continuing our work with Careers Wales.”
Lesley, who also works with Charles Owen, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work with Charles Owen and see how quickly they’ve made a positive impact with pupils within the area of Wrexham.
“In a short space of time, they’ve already supported a huge number of young people with their careers learning.”
Nikki Lawrence, Chief Executive at Careers Wales said: “I am delighted to announce Litegreen and Charles Owen as winners of Valued Partner Awards this year.
“The awards enable us to thank businesses for inspiring, motivating and empowering pupils with work-related knowledge and experiences that will help guide them shape their futures.
“On behalf of myself and everyone at Careers Wales, congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to continuing our vital work with them.”
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