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Coleg Cambria Wins Top UK Business Award

Coleg Cambria has won the Industrial Cadet School/College of the Year Award for its work with local employers on accredited workplace experiences for students.

The accolade, which was presented to the college at the Inaugural Industrial Cadet Awards earlier this month, recognises and celebrates excellence in working with employers to provide students with Industrial Cadet accredited workplace experiences.

Industrial Cadets is an influential workplace experience accreditation which is increasingly being used by companies across the country to accredit their activities with young people from their local communities.

Coleg Cambria has utilised Industrial Cadets to raise the awareness among young people about the possible employment opportunities in North East Wales’s large engineering and manufacturing base. Over the last three years the college has offered an increasing number of Industrial Cadet accredited programmes with companies, including Airbus, Tata Steel and BASF.

The Inaugural Industrial Cadets Awards event was held on 2nd March and was attended by the leaders of many of the UK’s top industrial companies. HRH The Prince of Wales and Astronaut Tim Peake also contributed to proceedings.

Originally inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales, Industrial Cadets accredits workplace experience activity offered by employers to young people and is now rapidly growing, engaging over 250 employers and 800 schools in graduating over 10,000 young people and accrediting over 200,000 learner hours of workplace experience.

Coleg Cambria organises summer programmes of workplace experience of one week duration with a sponsor company, including presentations, practical experience, and confidence and team building skills. These combine to give a good sector knowledge and awareness of job opportunities for when they leave school and lead to an Industrial Cadets award at Silver Level.

The college has found that Industrial Cadets’ combination of practical activity and industrial awareness has awakened interest in a vibrant local sector and has helped support local industry in filling important skills gaps, with many previous participants now in apprenticeships or full time engineering programmes at the college.

The award was sponsored by Rolls-Royce and presented by Colin Smith CBE, Group President of Rolls-Royce, who is also one of HRH The Prince of Wales’s Ambassadors for Industrial Cadets.

He said: “In supporting this award, we are raising the profile of Industrial Cadets with schools and colleges. The accreditation helps dispel much of the uncertainty that can exist around workplace experiences, for schools/colleges, students and parents.

“They can be sure that an Industrial Cadets accredited programme is delivering what is needed by the young people involved while meeting the needs of employers.

“Coleg Cambria has proved themselves very expert and responsive in working with businesses in the North East Wales area, to the benefit of their students and, in time, the local economy.”

David Jones, Chief Executive of Coleg Cambria, said the college was ‘delighted and proud to have won this prestigious award’.

He continued: “Industrial Cadets not only provides young people with an insight into local careers opportunities but it also provides them with a recognised workplace experience award and evidence of skills and experience that they can bring out at interview.

“With declining amounts of work experience on offer, the Industrial Cadets approach provides a very welcome opportunity for young people to explore North East Wales’s large base of industries which offer a fantastic array of apprenticeship opportunities.

“Our use of Industrial Cadets is therefore helping guide young people towards promising local careers.”

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