Raising pupils' aspirations with special visit to international firm

12 June 2018

Winsford schoolchildren had a taste of life in the workplace during a special visit to The Hut Group (THG).

Staff from the e-commerce company in Gadbrook Park welcomed more than 100 pupils from Wharton Primary, Over St John’s Primary School and Oaklands Special School who were taking part in the Raising Aspirations Project.

The project aims to raise children’s career ambitions by showing them what it is like to work in various industries and plant career dreams at an early age in the hope of raising their aspirations when they become teenagers.  

The team at the Hut Group gave pupils a taste of working in digital media and IT. They took part in an interactive IT session and learned programming skills. They were able to make keyboards out of fruit and vegetables.

Teacher and Head of 6th Form Andy Robinson, from Oaklands School, said: “It was an excellent visit where the pupils got to partake in various engaging and fun digital media activities while also learning about the fantastic work and careers at the HUT Group. This has given many of our students ideas and aspirations for the future. We can’t wait to go again.”

The Raising Aspirations Project stems from The Winsford Whole Place initiative. It is a supportive partnership between Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Education department and 13 schools in the town (primary, special and secondary) involved in the Winsford Education Partnership. 

Teachers offer pupils a unique insight into a wide range of careers including construction, digital media, hospitality, sport and health by delivering lessons on each subject. This is followed by a visit to a related workplace and college to help them link the lessons with the real world. 

Councillor Nicole Meardon, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “The Raising Aspirations Project has been added to the curriculum in schools in the Winsford Education Partnership. It is a vital element of our children’s education because it teaches youngsters what it is really like in the world of work.

“We are grateful for all of the businesses and educational establishments that have put a great deal of time and effort into supporting the project so far by welcoming the children into their place of work. We welcome other businesses which would be keen to get involved in our worthwhile project.” (THG) is an international technology company, focused on beauty and well being retail. It now operates 166 localised websites, retailing goods in 164 countries. 
Schalk vd Merwe, Chief Technology Officer at The Hut Group said: “Giving back to the local community has always been a passion of THG’s and so when the opportunity arose to inspire some of the next generation, we naturally took it. Opportunities for a career in Tech will continue to grow, so getting children excited about this at a young age is essential. 

“We were very impressed at how engaged the children were in the activities that allowed them to think creatively as well as in developing real technology skills. We look forward to working with the Raising Aspirations team again in the future.”

The project will become even more beneficial to young people if other industries or colleges are willing to offer their support by introducing the children to the world of further education and employment. To register your interest, contact Janet Kolita on janet.kolita@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

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