Champions Column: Amazing businesses and schools to be found in this friendly area of ours
My name is Emily Woods and I am the sales, marketing and projects executive at The Work-wise Foundation.
We are a non-profit, employer-led organisation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related sectors, with the aim of developing young people’s knowledge, skills and aptitude, readying them for the world of employment.
It is our job to work with both educators and employers to establish links to help young people understand the opportunities available to them. We also help businesses engage with young people to see the talent coming into our future workforce.
The charity has been running for around 12 years now and, in that time, we have engaged with more than 100,000 young people and worked with more than 200 businesses within the region.
What was the greatest achievement for your business over the past year?
One of our biggest events, Get up to Speed with STEM, is usually held at Magna Science Adventure Centre and visited by around 5,000 young people. After cancelling last year’s event at the last minute due to the lockdown, we decided to take the event online this year.
This was a major challenge for us and included building an online platform completely from scratch, contacting businesses for videos which showcased their world of work.
In the end, we managed to collate and showcase more than 300 pieces of content to around 12,000 young people throughout the week – an incredible achievement for everyone involved.
How would you describe Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, using only three words?
Exciting, innovative and ambitious.
What are your favourite places to visit in Chesterfield and why?
My favourite place is the Pomegranate Theatre! In my spare time, I run a charity drama group for young children called Killamarsh Dreams and we were lucky enough to perform there a few years ago.
Why do you love working or doing business in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?
Everyone is so friendly. We work with some amazing businesses and schools in the area and we are always greeted with a big smile and enthusiasm.
How are you supporting young people in your business through apprenticeships, traineeships or work experience and how are young people contributing to the success of your business?
The very reason we were established was to introduce young people into the world of work. This can be by helping them find an apprenticeship, organising work experience or industry visits to name just a few things.
Which upcoming development do you think will have the greatest impact on the town and why?
I am really excited to see the Chesterfield Waterside development coming to life. Every time I drive past, it seems to be growing – I think this will have an incredible impact in creating jobs and homes for lots of people in the town.
What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?
I really hope that Chesterfield will be recognised as a key place for business and employment. There are already lots of incredible businesses within the area creating jobs for young people, my hope is that this continues to grow.