THURROCK’S up and coming bosses were showing off their skills at the Park Inn in North Stifford on Thursday (27 March) evening.
They had all taken part in the fifth annual Thurrock Next Top Boss programme and were there for a networking and awards event.
The scheme is open to all education partners in the borough, with anyone over the age of 13 allowed to enter.
It involves a wide range of Thurrock-based and nationally- and internationally-recognised employers supporting the young people and looking for the best ideas, best skills and for young people who are “ready to take up an opportunity, challenge and competition as well as work outside their comfort zone”.
The 80 finalists in 22 teams – selected from local competitions – all managed to meet this criteria and delivered against a number of tough and real-life business and green solution challenges.
The judging panel had a tough job selecting the team winners and Katie White, Assistant Marketing Manager at intu Lakeside, said: “I never cease to be amazed by what young people can do.
“They are so creative and innovative and are often not given enough credit.
“Thanks to Thurrock’s Next Top Boss they are given the opportunity to unlock and showcase that potential.”
Mark Sexton from the Lakeside Hammers Speedway added: “This scheme provides a structured way for employers to work with young people.
“This year’s programme has delivered outstanding opportunities for local business to collaborate and work with local students and young people and the results of the project have provided real evidence of the talent, innovation and aspiration that Thurrock’s young people will bring to the world of work in the future.”
And Perry Glading, Chief Operating Officer for Forth Ports – owners of the Port of Tilbury – and chairman of the Thurrock Business Board highlighted the value of Thurrock’s Next Top Boss to business and Thurrock’s future economic growth and prosperity.
He showcased the local home grown talent of two of his managers; Paul Dale and Peter Ward in his presentation, saying how they provided role models to young people to encourage them to be future managers.
He said: “Today, business is even more about challenge, competition and innovation requiring energy, enthusiasm, commitment and aspiration from our young people if we are to prosper for the future.”
Former Next Top Boss graduates were also at the event and sang its praises.
Charlotte Sturges says the programme directly led to her having taken up an apprenticeship with Lloyds Bank, winning the chance to gain training and financial qualifications for her career.
She said: “It was brilliant and gave me the best thing that has ever happened to me – a full time job.”
Chloe Levelle added: “I owe my career to Next Top Boss” after securing a Special Achievement Award last year and then show-casing her skills at interview to win an administrator post and an apprenticeship with The University of London.
She is now also studying for a degree in Event Management.