The GFG Foundation, the charity set up by Sanjeev and Nicola Gupta in 2017 to boost young people’s skills and employment prospects in industrial communities, has again supported the highly acclaimed Industrial Cadet (IC) programme. The programme, inspired by HRH The Prince of Wales, delivers activities with 9- to 21-year olds, aiming to provide high quality accredited skills development in science, technology, engineering and maths.

This year, the gold level award, which sees post 16-year-old students from across England and Scotland take part in a work-based project, was all delivered virtually with support from teachers and workplace mentors.

The Foundation supported five schools, and each was given a project brief to design a solution to contribute to CN30 at one of the GFG Alliance sites. Critical to the programme’s success was mentor support, and the students were very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some very passionate and enthusiastic mentors from across the business.

Alvance’s Arran MacPhee, who is a Civil Engineer at the Lochaber plant, was one of the mentors and commented: “The students learn so much from the project, both in terms of technical and interpersonal skills. This is my second year of mentoring and I would recommend it to other colleagues. Although some of the student’s ideas were not feasible, it became evident that just looking at things in a slightly different manner was very insightful.”

At the end of the 16-week project, students presented their ideas to a panel of judges. All the participating students achieved the Gold Award and the GFG Foundation-funded team from High Storrs School in Sheffield came away with one of the Best Teamwork Awards.