The achievements of young people and the support of local employers in successful work experience placements have been celebrated at this year’s BEST Awards.
BEST (Business and Education Succeeding Together) is the council’s education and business partnership and works with about 700 employers to give Wandsworth’s young people access to around a thousand work experience placements a year.
The awards celebrate the work of motivated students and committed employers. The video below gives a taste of work experience in Wandsworth and how it benefits young people and employers.
This year’s event was hosted by Ernest Bevin College and was attended by students from Ernest Bevin College, Graveney Academy, Burntwood Academy, Chestnut Grove Academy, and Nightingale Community Academy. Entertainment was provided by a saxophone quintet from Graveney Academy.
Sixth former Hassan Ahmed, from Ernest Bevin College, talked about his work experience at Fleetline Coachworks and the value and support he received, giving special thanks to his boss at Fleetline, Steve Harris.
Many employers who have provided work experience were also at the ceremony. Steve Pinto, Chief Executive of the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce, presented the Employer Partnership Award to Titi Oladele from South West London & St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust.
Sarah Banham and Andre Burwood from Battersea Power Station Development Company went along to speak about recent and future developments at the site, and the work and career opportunities that will be available.
Mayor of Wandsworth Jane Cooper was also at the celebration, and councillor Will Sweet, cabinet member for education and children’s services, handed out awards. He said: “BEST is now in its 26th year, and in that time it has been crucial in helping people get their first taste of work and gain an insight into how they can succeed in their chosen career.
“Work experience also boosts young people’s confidence, helps them make valuable contacts and prepares them for the skills and outlook they will need to succeed. I’m delighted that the annual BEST Awards give us a chance to recognise the hard work of students, but also thank the many employers around the borough give their time and expertise so readily. They really are making a difference in people’s lives and helping our young residents reach their potential.”
BEST is always keen to hear from local employers interested in offering work experience placements to young people. For more information visit the Wandsworth Lifelong Learning website.