The Valued Partner Awards is an annual awards ceremony held by Careers Wales.

It is an opportunity for Careers Wales to recognise and thank the businesses that have been instrumental in supporting schools and young people to engage with the world of work in the last 12 months.

Companies and schools across Wales attended the virtual event on November 25, which was hosted by one of Wales’ most loved presenters, Sara Edwards.

With a team of more than 570 careers advisers, business engagement advisers and employability coaches, Careers Wales provides an all-age, inclusive and impartial careers guidance and coaching service to the people of Wales.

Their service starts with supporting young people with important choices and transition points during school years as well as providing high quality work-related experiences.

And the winners are...

Nikki Lawrence, chief executive at Careers Wales, said: “Congratulations to all of the winners and other finalists, and thank you again for your support and unwavering commitment.”

Future Valley Construction

Future Valleys Construction has partnered with Careers Wales since it formed 12 months ago and is proactive in delivering its programme to raise awareness of careers and apprenticeships in construction, challenge gender stereotypes in the industry and provide a range of STEM based activities to support the curriculum.

Working with the school parliament, Future Valleys Construction has offered innovative ways to support schools across Merthyr Tydfil. Staff have recorded a variety of careers videos showing the different opportunities available within the construction industry, including a video from a geologist, a female engineer and a public liaison officer.

The pupils also gained valuable insight into a project which will impact their town and learned how it will provide opportunities for employment for the next five years.

Nest

Nest has partnered with Wrexham school, Ysgol Clywedog, for four years. Teachers at the school were keen to give their students a better understanding of what it means to join the world of work. This aligned with Nest’s objectives to improve employment skills within education, raise awareness of STEM subjects and dispel the myth that the only career available at British Gas is engineering.

Over the past four years, Nest has worked with all year groups at Ysgol Clywedog delivering various employability skill sessions, prefect training, assembly talks and an attendance and recognition reward programme.

Wynne Construction

Despite covid restrictions, Wynne Construction remained committed to supporting young people with their careers and created alternative ways to engage pupils.

As well as hosting mock interview sessions, participating in interview tips videos and delivering virtual presentations, it also held a virtual workshop and produced a bricklaying video for local schools.

Kidslingo Cardiff and Newport

Kindslingo has worked with Careers Wales since 2020 to help inspire students to pursue languages in their studies, promote the benefits of language learning and highlight the career prospects available through studying languages. Kidslingo Cardiff and Newport teaches pupils French and Spanish through songs, actions, rhymes, game play, stories and drama.

It also offers language tutor roles to students, giving them valuable paid work experience and an opportunity to use their language skills in the workplace.

In addition to languages, Kidslingo also supported students studying a Level 3 applied diploma in business studies at Fitzalan High School by delivering a session on how to market a small business.

Eleri Jenkins, Welsh language services manager, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Ms Jenkins has supported Careers Wales initiatives since joining the health board in 2017 and is passionate about ensuring young people are aware of the wide range of opportunities available in NHS Wales.

Ms Jenkins has contributed to various Careers Wales events, including Welsh in the Workplace and Careers Discovery Week, which she also encouraged fellow health board colleagues and other organisations to contribute to.

Despite the pandemic, she has remained committed to raising awareness of the rewarding careers available in NHS Wales and the many benefits of speaking Welsh.

Eleri Jenkins won the award for Outstanding Personal Contribution
Eleri Jenkins won the award for Outstanding Personal Contribution

Chief executive, Nikki Lawrence added: “Despite the added pressures of the pandemic, people and businesses have still provided some excellent opportunities for young people.

“Once again, it was a tough task to judge all of the entries due to the fantastic work employers have done, and continue to do, to inspire and motivate the next generation.”

Careers Wales centres are now back open, with all COVID safety precautions in operation. There is the opportunity to attend pre-booked face-to-face appointments, with many centres also offering drop-in sessions, where appointments are not necessary.

To find out more about how Careers Wales can help you on your next steps, visit the website here.