More young school children get to open their eyes to a world of opportunity

Cardiff's big names from business, arts and culture are visiting schools for a second week, speaking to the children about career opportunities in the city. 

The Open Your Eyes visits are designed to raise career aspirations and today, 38 businesses and organisations from Cardiff and the wider city region began a week-long series of visits to nine schools in the cluster area for Fitzalan High School, having visited schools in the Cardiff West Community High School cluster last week. 

Using links created through the Cardiff Commitment, this year's Open Your Eyes involves more businesses and organisations, visiting more schools and speaking to more children and young people than in any of the programme's previous three years. 

Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "Open Your Eyes plays an important role in helping children and young people maintain their enthusiasm for learning, ensuring that they go on to employment, further education or training after they leave school and make the most of Cardiff's modern, vibrant  and dynamic economy. 

"By opening their eyes to a world of opportunity, we can help children and young people start to look ahead, and consider careers they might not otherwise have thought about. In raising aspirations for what they want to do when they grow up, we can encourage them to achieve in education - motivated to succeed and turning those aspirations into a reality. 

"It is great to see Open Your Eyes being offered to so many children and young people, and that even more businesses and organisations have come on board to talk about the excellent career opportunities that Cardiff and the wider city region has to offer." 

Kitchener primary in Riverside is one of the schools involved in Open Your Eyes again this year, and this afternoon it played host to the Cardiff Blues. 

Describing the benefits of visits like these, Headteacher, Mrs Ruth Jackson, said: "I am passionate about supporting children to know, understand and participate in the opportunities that living in Cardiff offers. 

"Open Your Eyes lets the children have a taste of the world of work, through a personal connection with a representative from a particular job or career. The key is that large organisations offer a range of jobs, so that there is something for everyone at whatever level of academic achievement or vocational qualifications." 

The Cardiff Commitment sets out how the council, together with a wide range of public, private and third sector partners, will work together to ensure a positive destination for every young person in Cardiff after they finish school, either in employment or further education and training. 

The 38 businesses and organisations taking part in Open Your Eyes this year are: Admiral Law; BBC Wales; Better Cardiff; Blake Morgan Law; Cadwyn Housing Association; Cardiff Blues; Cardiff Third Sector Council; Cardiff University; Celsa Steel; Digital Profile; FOR Cardiff; Hilton Cardiff; HMRC; ISG Construction; ITV Wales; Kier Construction; Lovells; Mandy St John Property Developer; Microsoft; Millennium FX; Morgan Sindall; National Theatre Wales; Network Rail; Orchard Media; Park Plaza Hotel; Powell Dobson; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Radisson Blu Cardiff; RAF; Santander; Selco; South Wales Police; Specsavers; University of South Wales; Wales Air Ambulance Charitable Trust; Wales Millennium Centre; Welsh National Opera; WRU. 

Alice Knapman, Hilton Hotels Human Resources Manager, said: "I am passionate about inspiring young people to join the Hospitality Industry and achieve a great career. In Hospitality you meet new people each and every day, create great friendships and can travel and see the world. 

"I started with Hilton through a two week work experience placement during my College studies. I have worked in 10 different Hilton Hotels and in 8 years have progressed to be a HR Manager of 3 Hilton Hotels."