The High Sheriff of Cumbria and over 20 business who put on a World of Work (WOW) challenge day for 230 teenagers from around the county have hailed it a success.
Organised by youth charity and apprentice leader Brathay Trust, the aim event was an opportunity to equip young people with the skills and career insights they need to become tomorrow’s workforce.
Those sending groups included Kirkby Kendal School, Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, Netherall School, Solway Community Technology College, St Joseph’s Catholic High School, the Business and Enterprise College, The Queen Katherine Academy (Kendal), Walney School, West Lakes Academy and Carlisle Youth Zone and Barrow Academy.
The challenge packed day saw the 14-16 year olds tackle tasks which included dry stone walling, using a 3D printer and a mini digger, tackling plumbing problems, exploring the financial markets, product design and customer relations.
High Sheriff Sam Rayner said: “Skills are vital to the future of the region. This event gave our young people a chance to meet some very successful local businesses and to challenge themselves to show they have the top ten employability skills.” One of the businesses taking part was Carlisle based Stobart Rail. Business Development Officer Hayley Slack, pictured above, said it was so successful that they are now planning two of their own work experience days later this year. She also said that the three activities they organised gave some young people a chance to reveal highly employable hidden talents.
She said: “For us the day was all about giving young people a chance to demonstrate they have employability skills which matter as much to us, if not more, than academic achievement. The tasks we set up were all about proving you can work in a team, use your initiative to solve problems and have good organisational skills.
“It was so rewarding to see the excitement on the students faces after they completed the challenges and the confidence it gave them. On behalf of Stobart Rail I can say that we all enjoyed our day at Brathay and we are looking forward to taking part in the next event next year.”
The event was made possible by sponsorship from Lakeland, Story Homes, Westmorland Ltd, English Lakes Hotels (Low Wood Hotel), Siemens and NRL. The following businesses provided activities and expertise: Total Post (Alston), Gore Brown (Lancaster), Nice Pond (Windermere), Mellors Architects (Kendal), NRL (West Cumbria), Lakeland Limited (Windermere), Dry Stone Walling Association (County show ground near Milnthorpe), PDCA Consulting (Kendal), Lamont Pridmore (seven offices in Cumbria), Siemens Subsea (Ulverston), EXPS (Kendal, Carlisle and Penrith), Pirelli (Carlisle), Stobarts Rail (Carlisle), Cumbria Scouts, and the Lloyd Group BMW (Carlisle).