GIVING young people a start in life by offering them an apprenticeship can deliver huge business benefits, an audience of Wythenshawe companies heard.

Charity BW3 hosted its latest Wythenshawe Business Gateway, the first in-person event since the pandemic.

Guests gathered at The Nest, a venue owned by retailer Timpson, and heard a series of inspiring speeches.

That included an interview with Brian Hay, CEO of Cardinal Global Logistics, the Wythenshawe-based firm that has a strong track record of hiring local apprentices.

Interviewed by BW3 chair Adam Jupp, Brian told of his own career journey and how that inspired him to offer a chance to young people who are unsure which path they want to follow.

He added that some of his most dedicated and highest performing colleagues have been recruited as apprentices and that his firm was committed to recruiting from the Wythenshawe area.

Brian said:

“Most of our apprentices are presenting with low grade academic achievement, and very often having spent the previous two years on a course with little or no relatable learning to the world of logistics, or indeed business. So, it would perhaps be easy to take the view that using the tried and tested metrics of examination results, the candidate is presenting with a lower than desirable level of intelligence.”

“There are numerous studies to show that a good education can deliver around 5 addition IQ points. We rather take the view that you must look beyond traditional assumptions in respect of how intelligence is measured, which very often favours people from more affluent areas.”

He added: “As an employer, we want our workforce to be made up of a diverse range of attributes, and we find that ‘emotional intelligence’, the ability to work in teams, show empathy, have a caring and kind nature, good communication, is equally important to us. Another one is ‘successful intelligence’, which is defined as “the ability to set and accomplish meaningful goals”.

The event was supported by pupils from St Paul’s, BW3’s high school of the year.

Also speaking was Mike Cunliffe, of Manchester City Council, who laid out details of the local authority’s consultation on its new work and skills strategy.

The evening was rounded off with a talk from Sarah Drive and Diane Ainsworth from Pioneer House High School who told guests about the skills and talents of their young people with SEND, with many success stories of students securing great jobs and examples of great employer partnerships.