St Helens Chamber Shortlisted for Two Awards at the 2021 Educate Awards

11 Oct 2021

Business Business School Jobs/Apprenticeships Startup

St Helens Chamber has been shortlisted for two prestigious awards at the 2021 Educate Awards; Most Inspirational 16-18 Education Provider and are a part of a shortlisted submission in collaboration with Rainford High for the Careers & Enterprise Award.

Laura Brogden, Head of Career Development at St Helens Chamber commented: “I’m really proud of the whole team for their hard work. The past year has been particularly difficult for education providers, but the Chamber rose to the challenge and continued to deliver our Fast Track to Apprenticeship programme and education programmes throughout lockdown.

“The team work tirelessly to inspire and motivate young people in the area to succeed every single day, so this award nomination is a fantastic recognition of their hard work.”

St Helens Chamber is a business membership organisation, focussed on improving the economic success of St Helens businesses and people. Despite being in an area of high deprivation and unemployment and consequently poor social mobility, local businesses have struggled to recruit young people and young people struggle to get started on the career ladder.

Laura continued: “We realised that improving social mobility was key to addressing the issues we were seeing across St Helens and Merseyside, so we embarked on designing and delivering our Fast Track to Apprenticeship programme.

“We have utilised our Traineeship Funding to develop our initiative to support young people into the world of work and over the 10 years this programme has been live, it has evolved and expanded to suit the needs of the young people. We are ecstatic that the work we’ve done to put this together is being recognised in the wider education community.”

St Helens Chamber’s Fast Track to Apprenticeship programme has helped 1332 local young people in the past 5 years alone, and the Chamber are committed to continuing this work for any local young person who needs their support.

Laura explained: “As result of our Fast Track to Apprenticeship programme in the last five years we have supported 1332 young people of which 100% were not in education or training (NEET) or at risk of becoming NEET, 62% of whom had lower than average or no previous attainment, 40% of these young people had mental health issues and 47% came from workless households.

“Despite the issues these young people faced, with the support of the Chamber 77% progressed into an Apprenticeship, employment, or further education; 89% of these progressions were into Apprenticeships and Jobs.

“The statistics demonstrate the importance of this programme to local young people, and how it is helping them overcome their barriers and start their dream career.”

Alongside the shortlisted award for the Fast Track programme, St Helens Chamber also are a part of Rainford High’s Careers and Enterprise Award, through the Enterprise Coordinator programme.

The Enterprise Coordinator Programme has been developed by the Careers & Enterprise Company to inspire and prepare young people for the world of work. Working together with Local Enterprise Partnerships, the company is building a national network of Enterprise Advisers, who bring together schools, colleges and Enterprise Advisers in the area to develop effective employer engagement plans.

Rachel Collins, Head of Business Services at St Helens Chamber, explained: “Our Enterprise Co-ordinator school Rainford High has been shortlisted for the Careers and Enterprise Award; the school are committed to providing their pupils with high quality careers information, and I’m delighted that we have been able to support with this.

“The partnership between Rainford High and St Helens Chamber has been a great success, with ‘Be Brilliant’ Careers days, ‘Employability Days’, ‘Dragons Den’ and much more. These sessions were designed to engage students of all ages, and the school have had some fantastic feedback from both pupils and parents.”

Educate Awards, in partnership with Copyrite Systems and Ricoh, is the largest education awards in the region and will take place at the iconic Liverpool Cathedral on Friday 19 November.

Laura added: “We’re looking forward to the awards to celebrate the achievements of the Chamber, and hopefully we will be successful in gaining this prestigious award.

“Whatever happens, the traineeship and education team should be proud of their work, and I look forward to seeing the Chamber continue to support local young people to get onto the career ladder.”

To find out more about St Helens Chamber’s services for young people, visit