The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Annual Conference, held at Alderley Park on Thursday 29 June, welcomed prestigious guests such as Ollie de Botton, CEO of Careers & Enterprise Company, Clare Hayward, Chair of Local Enterprise for Cheshire and Warrington as well as Paul Colman, Chief Executive at South Cheshire Chamber.
The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership and Careers & Enterprise Company hosted their Annual Conference with the aim to bring together employers and schools from across the county to discuss ‘Bridging the Gaps’ for young people and help every young person find their next best step.
“I’ve been lucky enough to attend two years in a row now, and both times I’ve left feeling more hopeful for the future. As a young person myself, it often feels like this area is quite stagnant in terms of careers and opportunities. The minute I sat in that auditorium hall, however, I was forced to reassess!
The harsh reality is that Cheshire and Warrington have more inequality in educational achievement tied to social class and wealth disparities than most of the country. It is more important than ever to reach out to the communities that are struggling to provide every young person with the opportunities, information, and guidance they need and deserve. This is what both The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership and Careers & Enterprise Company are working with an impressive network of schools, higher education colleges, employers and local councils, to make a strong impact within the community, for young people, educators and employers.
The variety of industries and individuals at Pledge conferences never fails to amaze me. Whilst just fetching coffees and handing out badges, I spoke to engineers, charity sector workers, healthcare professionals, school staff and researchers, to name a few. But, as great as the employers and councillors were, we all agreed that the young people absolutely made the event what it was.” – Anna Langston
Highlights from the Annual Conference
Over the course of the morning, those that attended heard from many fantastic speakers, including members of The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership and Careers & Enterprise Company Team. With local councils in Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Warrington taking part and sharing what they plan to do to help ‘Bridge the Gap’. The event started with an inspirational opening keynote speaker Clare Hayward, who highlighted that the work that The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership and Careers & Enterprise Company have been undertaking this academic year has helped young people to raise their aspirations.
One of the highlights of the event was the young people’s panel, where businesses and schools were given the opportunity to hear from apprentices working with prestigious companies, as well as young women working in a STEM profession, and a student from Reaseheath College. It was extremely beneficial to hear from the young people on the day, including their experience of being involved in The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership and Careers & Enterprise Company Programmes.
During the afternoon, guests were treated to some lovely drinks and food prepared by the friendly team of catering students from Petty Pool Vocational College & Outdoor Centre, after lunch, the attendees were split into geographical area groups to discuss what could be done to help ideas from the day be expanded and improved across the region. In the Cheshire East group, most of the ideas were centred around asking more young people from increasingly diverse backgrounds what could be done practically to make them aware of alternative routes available.
Another highlight from the day was hearing from keynote speaker, Oli de Botton, CEO of Careers & Enterprise Company, who stated that the work implemented by The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership and The Careers & Enterprise Company was “exceptional” and is “magnifying the impact on young people” by connecting with 86 schools and colleges in the region as well as 550 businesses.
The Annual Conference was a great success and opportunity for educational providers, employers, young people and youth organisation to network, connect and share success stories with one another. With the support of donors such as the Bank of America and the European Social Fund, The Cheshire and Warrington Pledge Partnership is able to connect Cheshire local businesses with an impressive and inspirational talent pipeline, with the dedication of career leaders and headmasters and their implementation of a whole-school approach within local schools, the expertise and knowledge from local employers alongside the aspirations of hard-working young people, we can all work together to help bridge the gap within Cheshire and Warrington.
posted: Thursday 20 July