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First such partnership between business and school in Gwynedd.

Bethesda-based Welsh Slate, part of the Lagan group, has teamed up with the town's secondary school Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen to pioneer a Business Class programme in Gwynedd.

The initiative is one of more than 80 Business in the Community (BITC) programmes in Wales and is delivered by Careers Wales and funded by the Welsh Government. 

A tried and tested model that builds sustainable partnerships between business and schools in Wales, the Business Class partnerships are driven by the needs of schools and the priorities, resources and capacity of businesses.

To help create a future workforce and highlight future opportunities, Welsh Slate is looking to improve and develop students' entrepreneurial and employability skills by providing a variety of experiences from work experience through site visits to an enterprise challenge. The partnership helps students to develop lifelong skills and knowledge that will support them through school and into the world of work.

Welsh Slate managing director Chris Allwood said: “The future of Welsh Slate will depend on developing its future workforce to address the ever-changing challenges that present themselves, whether new technologies, new products and processes or new markets. Where better to start than with those students who have a unique insight into the culture and heritage of the slate landscape?

“The Business Class programme allows us to share our skills and expertise with the young people at Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen to help them understand what is needed to thrive in the workplace once they leave school. It also allows us the opportunity to learn from the students about how they see us and our place in the community so the partnership benefits both ourselves and the pupils involved in the collaboration.”

Shirley Rogers, Careers Wales director of service delivery said: “Business Class brings industry and young people together in a practical way, as this excellent collaboration illustrates.  We are looking forward to seeing how this partnership flourishes next year and beyond.

“Business Class provides invaluable lessons about the world of work outside of the normal school curriculum, showing students about the range of different opportunities there are after education. In this particular partnership, Welsh Slate is hoping to teach the students of Ysgol Dyffryn Ogwen about the importance of preparing for the world of work and thus equipping them with the tools required to become the next generation of Wales' workforce.”

Matt Appleby, director of Business in the Community Cymru, added: “Partnerships and events with major Welsh employers such as Welsh Slate is what Business Class is all about. It gives pupils the chance to interact with companies and ask questions about their future career opportunities.

“Encouraging companies to engage with young people not only demonstrates their commitment to their potential future staff but also helps equip students with lifelong skills such as teamwork, interview preparation and other practical knowledge for their future careers.”

Careers Wales is an all-Wales service that offers free career advice, tips and guidance to people of all ages looking to enter full or part-time employment, work schemes and apprenticeships, or gain work experience to further their skills and job prospects.

Careers Wales gives advice in both Welsh and English and for further information and to access their services, you can search online for www.careerswales.com or follow them on Twitter @CareersWales or on Facebook under www.facebook.com/careerswales.


Photo (from left to right): Dylan Davies, deputy headteacher; Rhian Lloyd-Thomas, area manager, Careers Wales; Alun Llwyd, headteacher; Chris Allwood, Welsh Slate MD, John Edwards, business engagement adviser, Careers Wales; Dr Dafydd Roberts, governor, and Year 7 pupils.

Note to editors:

             Career Choices Dewis Gyrfa (CCDG) is the professional, impartial, all age, bilingual careers information advice and guidance service for Wales.  CCDG delivers services under the Careers Wales brand and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Welsh Government since 1st April 2013.

             Careers Wales is a major delivery partner in the Welsh Government's Youth Engagement and Progression Framework which aims to provide support to young people to progress in education, training and employment.

             For more information on Careers Wales services visit www.careerswales.com  

Business Class:

             For further details please contact from Lowri ap Robert on 029 2078 0050.

             Business Class is a tried and tested model that builds sustainable and strategic partnerships between businesses and secondary schools. There are currently over 1,000 businesses supporting 500 partnerships and thousands of young people across the UK.

             Business Class partnerships collaborate through the unique “cluster” mechanism which is an effective way to network, develop and share ideas and achieve mutual goals.

             In 2015/16 the objective is to create 60 partnerships in areas across Wales.


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