The Prince of Wales has invited steel tycoon Sanjeev Gupta, the executive chairman of metals, industries and energy group, GFG Alliance, to take up the role of ambassador for the Industrial Cadets.
The programme is designed to give children and young people manufacturing skills and experience of the industry whilst still studying at school or college. There are currently more than 15,000 youngsters involved in Industrial Cadets in the UK.
The programme was first set up by Prince Charles seven years ago after he visited steel plants at Teesside and heard how the manufacturing and engineering sectors were struggling to recruit young people into the industry. The aim is to give students a real understanding of the industry by providing them with high-quality, accredited work experience in the hope they will go on to pursue careers in the industry.
Sanjeev Gupta’s GFG Foundation is actively involved in funding and promoting the Industrial Cadets programme through a partnership with the Engineering Development Trust. The companies involved with GFG Alliance, including Liberty House and SIMEC, will be supporting 5,000 cadets from schools across the UK over the coming year. This includes students from four schools in Gwent where the GFG Alliance has a steel plant in Newport and Tredegar.
The appointment of Mr Gupta was announced at the Industrial Cadets annual awards on Wednesday where high-performing participants in the programme were also personally congratulated by the Prince of Wales.
Prince Charles spoke highly of the new ambassador at the event, saying: “Sanjeev is doing so much to apply real imagination, innovative thinking and sustainable rejuvenation to our Nation’s heavy industries and I’m thrilled that he, through his GFG Alliance, has so enthusiastically become involved with Industrial Cadets as well.”
Mr Gupta spoke of how it feels to be ambassador, saying: “It’s a great honour to be invited by His Royal Highness to contribute to one of the most important tasks facing modern society; the task of ensuring our next generation has the motivation and skills to enable us to remain competitive and successful on the world stage in manufacturing.”