Businesses in Portsmouth unite to inspire city's youth in new Shaping Portsmouth project

BUSINESSES across Portsmouth have united to inspire the city’s youth.

Wednesday, 6th October 2021, 12:34 pm

Firms such as The News, Hewitt Matthews, The Portsmouth Guildhall, and more, joined Shaping Portsmouth for its Explore Your Future project which aims to inspire people aged 14 to 19 through the real-life experiences of a diverse pool of role models.

The programme, in partnership with Portsmouth City Council and local schools, is part of Shaping Portsmouth’s renewed focus on schools.

Through a series of recorded interviews, stories are provided to schools as a free online and downloadable resource. Almost 20 interviews across a host of industries have already been created celebrating the breadth of opportunity in Portsmouth.

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Mark Waldron, editor of The News, appeared in a video with health specialist Fiona Callingham.

He said: ‘It was an honour to take part, inspiring young people to think seriously about their careers is a worthwhile and rewarding opportunity.’

Louise Panou-King, careers leader at Miltoncross Academy, said: ‘The videos give students a great opportunity to see what is available to them and all the possible routes they can take post-16.’

Evie, a Year 10 student at Miltoncross Academy, said: ‘It's a great video to help decide what career choices are out there.’

Simon Lamb from Sylvadale Ltd, who was interviewed for the programme, said: ‘Having young people join us as apprentices is an important part of our business growth. It allows us to mould our future workforce and provides a more hands on training route to a successful career.

‘Explore Your Future provided me with the opportunity to share my own career journey and hopefully inspire more young people into plumbing and heating to help fill the UK’s skills gap.’

Shaping Portsmouth’s CEO Stef Nienaltowski said: ‘I am incredibly proud of this programme, the team behind it, and programme leads Jo Burfitt and Lee Butler in particular for all they have achieved.

‘We want to introduce our city’s students to the widest variety of careers and career paths possible, so if you can spare half an hour and would like to add your story to our interview library, please do get in touch.’

Online interviews will continue, and the programme aims to visit schools for live sessions in January 2022.