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Shropshire ‘Future Leaders’ careers event declared big success

‘Future Leaders – Celebrating Shropshire’ event held at Shrewsbury School in collaboration with Interactive Opportunities and Shropshire Chamber of Commerce.

An interactive careers event at Shrewsbury School, featuring workshops by business ambassadors from across Shropshire and surrounding area, has been declared a big success.

Feedback from the 180 fourth-form students and 21 business, who ran workshops at the ‘Future Leaders – Celebrating Shropshire’ event last week, was resoundingly positive.

The event was a collaboration between Andrew Goff, managing director of Interactive Opportunities Ltd, Shropshire Chamber of Commerce and Shrewsbury School. They are keen to demonstrate to students the vast and exciting range of career opportunities that exist within Shropshire and the surrounding area.

Students were able to explore diverse career paths, gain practical insights and interact directly with industry experts at workshops ranging from entrepreneurship, law, agriculture cyber security and motorsport engineering, charities, to sales and marketing.

The partners revealed their ambition to hold a much larger event next year at Telford International Centre with 100 participating businesses, attracting students from schools across Shropshire.

Otis Powell, Shropshire Chamble of Commerce membership manager, added:

“It was a truly inspiring event to be involved with, to see so many exceptional businesses brought together for the betterment of the future generation.

“Hopefully, this event can lead the way to bigger and better things in all areas of careers education.”

“The Future Leaders careers event was highly beneficial in expanding students’ understanding of potential career paths, motivating them to pursue their interests and providing clarity on the steps needed to achieve their goals,” added Andrew.

“The event successfully showcased a variety of opportunities and inspired students to consider both traditional and non-traditional career routes, emphasising the importance of passion, adaptability and continuous learning.

“The feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive. Many appreciated the interactive and engaging nature of the workshops, emphasising how they felt actively involved rather than being passive listeners.

“The diversity of industries represented and the hands-on activities were particularly well-received.”

He thanked all the business ambassadors for the time and effort they committed to inspiring the students. “You have shown your intent about what you are prepared to do for the younger generation,” he added.

Chris Wain, Shrewsbury School’s Head of Futures, said:

“It was a privilege to welcome so many engaging and enthusiastic companies to Shrewsbury School for this new fourth form event. I am so grateful they were willing to give up their time to inspire our future leaders.

“An important part of my role is to ensure that, where it is practical and possible, events delivered by the Futures Department are made available to pupils in the locality. I am excited about working with Interactive Opportunities and Shropshire Chamber of Commerce to ensure that this happens with this event in 2025.”

Speakers at the workshops included ambassadors from Halls, Coforge, 8 Financial Planning, Barclays Bank, AO Recycling, VITAL Drinks, Lily Shippen Recruitment, Start Tech, New Era Printing, Morris Lubricants, Thomas Horton Racing, Furrows Group, Shoothill, Shropshire Business Live TV, Agrii, EVC Solutions, Lanyon Bowdler, Sales Geek Shropshire, BUY-FROM Creative Agency, Lingen Davies Cancer Charity and Makefast.

Mark Robinson, vice president for delivery at Coforge, said:

“It was a great opportunity to meet the students who all showed a keen interest in discussions and provided some fascinating insight.

“It was also a chance to meet representatives from other business in the area and understand their successes and challenges. As a company, Coforge is looking to increase its profile in the Shropshire area and integrate into the local business community. This event provided an ideal part in that journey.

“Connections have already been made with other presenters and I am looking forward to following up conversations and building my network locally. We will certainly be the first to sign up for any future event.”

Adrian Hill, Morris Lubricants’ technology manager, said:

“It’s an exciting time to be working in the lubricants industry because everything is changing. Recruiting young, intelligent and talented people is our insurance policy for the future.”

Kate Oakes, a graduate rural surveyor at Halls in Shrewsbury, said:

“It was really good to see the interest from students in the work that we and other professionals do in the countryside and to show how everything is interlinked. It was a very useful and informative event.”

Lucy Speed, a solicitor with Lanyon Bowdler, said:

“I met some particularly talented students, one of whom is definitely a budding defence lawyer. I would take her for work experience tomorrow. Events like this, which identify future talent, are very important.”

David Horton, STEM specialist educator from Experience Motorsport, ran a workshop with his son, Thomas and also provided a racing car simulator which proved very popular.

“What we really wanted to get the students to think about was how to turn their passion into a career,” he said. “That’s what Thomas has done with motorsport.”

Nick Lloyd, design manager for Makefast, which makes marine and safety products, said:

“It was a really enjoyable and informative event. The students asked questions about things that I had never considered before. It was good to share with the students my own journey in engineering and the many different career paths, including apprenticeships.”

One student who hopes to start his own business in the future said: “I enjoyed the VITAL Drinks workshop because he presented a business idea in a way that was both realistic and achievable. The workshops were good because the presenters spoke to us as adults when we asked questions and interacted with them.”

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