September 26, 2022


This is now the 13th year of the BLBW Scheme.  A hugely successful programme, giving young people the opportunity to experience the working world which, in turn, raises their aspirations, developing their employability skills and helping them to identify and work towards possible future careers.  This year 7  x schools participated in the scheme including, for the first time, the Sheaf Training Centre, which focuses on students with special education needs.  The Master Cutler, Mr James Tear, welcomed everyone to the Hall.  The guests included the Deputy Lord Lieutenant, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and the Mayors and Mayoresses of Barnsley and Rotherham.   He particularly welcomed the students and their teachers and thanked those who have worked so hard to make the BLBW scheme so successful –  the schools, Sheffield City Council, employers including the NHS, the Yorkshire Regiment and various manufacturing companies.  He particularly thanked Sarah Ward for all of her hard work and commitment, the teachers and, most of all, the young people, “ambassadors”, themselves.  The schools taking part this year were Chaucer, Sheaf Training Centre, Penistone Grammar, Fir Vale, Sheffield Park Academy, King Edward VII and Sheffield Springs Academy.

Mr Kevin Straughan Director of Eduction and Skills at Sheffield City Council spoke of how proud they were to be involved in the Scheme expecially as children today face big challenges.

Mrs Kathryn Proost, Keystage 3 Leader at King Edward VII Grammar School, also spoke of how amazing the Scheme was for young people, giving them the chance to meet employers they would never meet without it and have really aspirational experiences.

Mr Tear presented the young Ambassadors with their certificates, followed by several Gold Ambassador awards for fantastic performances and awards and cheques to several outstanding teachers and a school, Fir Vale.

Marcus Scholey a former Ambassador on the Scheme, gave a heartwarming speech on how he was now working as an apprentice metallurgist at Sheffield Forgemasters.  He explained how incredibly helpful going on the scheme had been for him in gaining skills which were transferable to lots of different businesses.

Mr Nick Cragg, Chairman of the Cutlers’ Company’s Education and Skills Committee spoke of how there are plans to expand the Scheme going forward, with 14 shools signed up for this coming year, including schools in Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster.  There will also be a pilot of a primary school programme for year 5s .

An exciting evening and a proud one for the Company of Cutlers.