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Young entrepreneurs put to the test at Business Class CRE8 event

Students taking part at CRE8 event

Teams of year nine pupils from local schools have taken part in a series of business challenges at a Careers Wales event held at The Neuadd Reichel, Bangor University.

The Business Class Cluster CRE8 event, which was held in collaboration with The Welsh Government Warm Homes, Nest scheme, Careers Wales and Business in the Community (BITC), saw pupils from seven schools competing against each other to promote energy efficient projects.

Business Class is a BITC programme funded in Wales by the Welsh Government and delivered by Careers Wales aimed at forging links between employers and schools.

Students were asked to design and create an energy efficient product from recyclable materials which included; an exercise device that produces energy, an environmentally friendly vehicle and a laptop that produces its own energy, which they then presented to a panel of expert judges.

The groups were judged on their design, team work, and presentation, with Ysgol Creuddyn announced as the overall winners at the end of the day with their design of ‘Energym; a gym park that produces electricity from kinetic energy!’.

The CRE8 event was a culmination of a series of Business Class competitions, geared towards improving school pupils’ understanding of the world of work and to learn about the importance of energy efficiency technology.

As part of the initiative to improve relationships between North West Wales schools and their supporting Business Ambassadors, the competitors received support from leading Welsh employers including Welsh Water and Welsh Slate.

Nikki Lawrence, Chief Executive of Careers Wales, said:

“One of our core aims at Careers Wales is encouraging businesses and schools to work together collaboratively to encourage learning about the world of work.

The challenges in this Business Class CRE8 event were focused on teaching pupils about energy efficient technology and how they can use their skills to design and create such products.

With environmental concerns becoming a major topic on the news agenda, this event was particularly relevant for young people, many of whom have demonstrated such a keen interest in the future of the planet.

Engaging with major employers such as Welsh Water and Welsh Slate not only demonstrates their commitment to environmentally friendly products, but also teaches the next generation of workers key skills and innovations in this area.”

Rebecca Falvey, Head of Programmes at Business in the Community, said:

“We’ve loved supporting the CRE8 programme across Wales and seeing the innovative environmental ideas from all the students.

These activities offer a great opportunity to develop strong business/school links and the contextualised learning encouraged in the new Curriculum for Wales.

We are delighted through our Business Class programme, delivered with our partners Careers Wales, to be able to support students in Wales to develop the key skills they will need in the future to build successful and happy lives.”

Lesley Griffiths Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said: "Energy efficiency and recycling are key to the Welsh Government’s green agenda and so I am delighted with the focus of this year’s competition.

CRE8 is an excellent way of helping young people develop the skills needed for the future to help us save energy, save money and more importantly, the planet by reducing the need for us to consume the earth’s resources for our own needs.”

Schools participating in the event included:

  • Ysgol Aberconwy
  • Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern
  • Ysgol Bryn Elian
  • Ysgol Creuddyn
  • Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen
  • Emrys Ap Iwan Foundation School
  • Ysgol Friars