New plea for business to rise to talent challenge

Master Cutler Bill Speirs (left) with Mick Hood of Tata Steel, Speciality
Master Cutler Bill Speirs (left) with Mick Hood of Tata Steel, Speciality

Master Cutler Bill Speirs is appealing to more local businesses to help make this year’s Master Cutler’s Challenge the biggest and best yet.

This is the fourth consecutive year of the challenge, which has so far involved more than 300 local businesses and schools and raised half a million pounds for local good causes.

This year the theme is ‘developing talents’, which aims to raise the aspirations and skills levels of young people in the Sheffield region in order to differentiate participants so that they have more than just GCSEs and A Levels to improve their employment prospects.

The challenge will follow the same format, with the Master Cutler lending £50 at a special launch event at Cutler’s Hall on Monday March 28 to any business, organisation or school which commits to getting involved. They will then be asked to use their talents, skills and entrepreneurial flair to grow this amount, raising as much money as possible over the next few months. The challenge culminates in a final celebration event at the Cutler’s Hall in September, when the Master will present certificates and those participating will be able to celebrate their successes.

The Master Cutler said: “My passion is finding, developing and using talent. My challenge this year plans to give young people opportunities to develop their talent and to raise as much money as possible with the principal aim of improving the employment prospects of 1,000 young people in the Region. We need growth to bring increased wealth to our region. To do this, we need all the talent available. Currently some youngsters are trapped in a cycle of working poverty or detached from the labour market. This is a waste of talent and economic potential which we need to address. Young people deserve a decent and productive job from which to build a better future. I can’t do this alone and I need help to make the Master Cutler’s Challenge this year the biggest and best to have the maximum impact on the lives of young people”.

The challenge is not only a great opportunity for organisations to put something positive back into the local community, but there are huge business benefits to employers and their staff.

Previous businesses who have been involved have found that the challenge helps them to raise their profile and network with other like-minded companies and leading business figures, as well as developing their employees’ teamwork, organisation and communication skills and the activities involved with the Challenge and celebration events are great for staff morale and motivation, not to mention lots of fun.

Amongst those already signed up to the Challenge this year are Tata Steel Speciality. HR manager Mick Hood said: “Tata are delighted to be participating in the Master Cutler’s Challenge in 2011. For Tata there is double the incentive to get involved in this year’s Challenge. Not only is it raising money to help young people’s chances of gaining future employment, but it is a fantastic development opportunity for our own Apprentices and other staff to enhance their talents and skills whilst putting something back into the local community.”

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