More than 50 Welsh companies have been recognised for their work supporting schools and young people across Wales to prepare for their future careers.
The Careers Wales Valued Partner Awards recognises the important contribution made by businesses who consistently step up to support the workforce of tomorrow by signing up to Careers Wales facilitated initiatives and activities in schools.
Held at The Hilton Hotel in Cardiff, companies from across Wales attended the Careers Wales Valued Partner Awards ceremony, which was hosted by television and BBC Radio Wales presenter Jason Mohammad.
Careers Wales’ Business Engagement programme gives employers the chance to work with schools to inform, inspire and motivate young people about their career opportunities.
At the awards 17 companies picked up gold awards, 24 companies won silver and 14 companies took home a bronze award.
Caerphilly-based Celtic Horizons scooped the Outstanding Contribution award following its work supporting local schools within Caerphilly and Cardiff. The outstanding contribution award was a new addition to the Valued Partner Awards with the Careers Wales Business Engagement Advisers nominating 10 businesses for this award.
Rebecca Thomas Quinn from Celtic Horizons who collected the awards said: “We’re overwhelmed and honoured to have won both the gold award in the South Wales region and the Outstanding Contribution award at the Careers Wales Valued Partner Awards.
“Preparing children for the world of work is hugely important which is why we actively go into schools to provide a range of support from delivering assembly talks to providing mock interviews.
“We’ve also delivered a number of workshops to local secondary schools which cover a wide range of skill sectors including; tiling, painting & decorating, carpentry, electrician and plumbing.
“One of our main focuses is supporting special educational schools and children who have challenging behaviours by being a positive mentor for them and helping them achieve work placements.
“Being able to give something back to our local community and seeing these children thrive and develop is a huge reward so we can’t thank Careers Wales enough for the work they do in enabling us to go into schools.”
Michele Govier, Business Engagement Adviser at Careers Wales, who nominated Celtic Horizons for the Outstanding Contribution award said: “Since joining the Education Business Exchange, the team at Celtic Horizons have been extremely proactive in their local community in Caerphilly, and more recently in the Cardiff area.
“They’ve also supported all our projects at Careers Wales by delivering assemblies, enriching the curriculum, providing practical professional workshops from their apprentices and producing packs for schools about each of their specific areas, like carpentry and plumbing.
“Celtic Horizons has also challenged stereotypes in construction by actively promoting equality and helping women get into the workplace by providing work placements and school talks exclusively for young women.
“This employer goes the extra mile for all our schools, and it’s been a great pleasure to nominate them for the Outstanding Contribution award.”
Nikki Lawrence, Careers Wales Chief Executive, said: “Following the success of our first Valued Partner Awards last year, we wanted to continue celebrating the businesses who help us by holding the event again this year.
“It’s crucial that we recognise businesses who have gone above and beyond to support young people and local schools with a platform that can help their future careers.
“Employers help the work we do in so many ways and without their valuable contribution young people wouldn’t have the extra level of guidance to help secure employment.
“It’s important that we continue to work with local businesses to provide opportunities for the next generation.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who attended the event and we hope all the companies will continue their vital work with students.”
For more information on how to work with Careers Wales in schools and sign up to the Education Business Exchange programme.