Young entrepreneurs put to the test at Business Class CRE8 event 

Teams of year nine pupils from local schools have taken part in a series of business challenges at a Careers Wales event held at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s (UWTSD) new £350 million SA1 Swansea Waterfront development.  .

The Business Class Cluster CRE8 event, which was held in collaboration with The Welsh Government Warm Homes, Nest scheme, Careers Wales and Business in the Community (BITC), saw pupils from seven schools competing against each other to promote energy efficient projects.

Business Class is a BITC programme funded in Wales by the Welsh Government and delivered by Careers Wales aimed at forging links between employers and schools. 

Students were asked to design and create an energy efficient product from recyclable materials which included; a device that produces energy from sound, an environmentally friendly vehicle and a hydro gutter which they then presented to a panel of expert judges.

The groups were judged on their design, team work, and presentation, with Team Hoxovo from Ysgol Gyfun Ystalafera announced as the overall winners at the end of the day with their design of ‘a shower that saves energy and water in your houses by filtering and reusing waste’.

The CRE8 event was a culmination of a series of Business Class competitions, geared towards improving school pupils’ understanding of the world of work and to learn about the importance of energy efficiency technology.  

As part of the initiative to improve relationships between South West Wales schools and their supporting Business Ambassadors, the competitors received support from leading Welsh employers including The Royal Air Force, Lloyds Banking Group and Oil4Wales. The pupils were also given a short tour of the new facilities in SA1, home to UWTSD’s Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering, Yr Athrofa, The Institute of Education, The Construction Wales Innovation Centre and a new library.

Nikki Chief Executive at Careers Wales, said: “Our aim in bringing these schools and businesses together was to provide these young, enthusiastic pupils with the opportunity to take part in a competition that enabled them to develop a range of transferrable skills, including teamwork and presentation skills."

"Business Class helps give students an insight into the world of business, including proposals, design and marketing, through the help of some of Wales’ biggest employers."

Matt Appleby, Director of Business in the Community Cymru, said:“The CRE8 event is a great example of Business Class at work. “It gives pupils hands-on experience of the skills that the workplace is now looking for, both practical and social."   

“Students taking part have the chance to develop work-related skills including teamwork, communication, problem solving, resilience and creative thinking. What’s more, pupils of all abilities are able to take part."

“We are proud to work with Careers Wales and NEST on events like CRE8 which help build Wales’ future workforce”.

The event was also attended by Welsh Government’s Head of Domestic Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty, Nina Ley, who spoke to the teams about their designs and ideas during the morning session of challenges.

Barry Liles, OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Skills & Lifelong Learning) at UWTSD said: “The University of Wales Trinity Saint David is proud to be associated with the CRE8 initiative and so pleased to have welcomed the school pupils to our IQ Building in SA1 for the final round of the competition. The initiative chimes with the ethos of the University in providing learning experiences for learners which develop them for the world of work. During their time on campus the pupils viewed our cutting edge engineering facilities providing them with an extra stimulus for their innovative competition design and make task.”

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