United Utilities' director gives Bolton schoolchildren 'unique' careers lesson

Pupils at a Bolton school were treated to a careers lesson with a difference in January to inspire them in their choice of career.

In an hour-long class labelled as “unique” and “engaging”, United Utilities’ Head of Wholesale Finance, Gary Baron, told the 25-strong, Year 9 class his personal story, the route he took to where he is now, the decisions he made along the way and the career opportunities on offer at United Utilities.

“Every day I’m still learning new skills,” Gary told students at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy. “One of the most important things for me is that I enjoy doing what I’m doing. That’s something to remember as you progress through your studies,” he added.

During his lesson, Gary explained how he still benefits from skills learned in his early work experience and how there are often multiple different routes that can be taken into most career choices. The hour-long session also involved students debating how best to prioritise investment and indicating their preference by taking to their feet and voting with water.

Charlie Magee, a teacher at Bolton St Catherine’s Academy, said: “It's important in this day and age to give our young people every opportunity to experience careers that they didn't know existed, to open up their minds and share with them the different aspects of the world of work.

“Gary has brought a unique and engaging session to our Y9 students at BCSA which explored his roots, his aspirations and most importantly how United Utilities is leading the way in creating opportunities for career pathways for our young people.”

The visit was made possible by a partnership between United Utilities and education charity Teach First. The charity has been working since 2003 to address the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) skills shortage by bringing teachers into low-income communities to champion those subjects and educate their pupils on the opportunities available in the sector.

Colin Ferguson, Teach First Local Director for the North West, said: “It’s great to seeing local businesses connect with schools in this way. We would encourage more organisations to spend time in schools to educate young people on careers available to them. Thank you to Gary for taking time out of his schedule and for United Utilities for their support of Teach First.”

Notes for Editors

United Utilities

United Utilities is the UK’s largest listed water company and manages the regulated water and waste water network in North West England - which includes Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside with a combined population of nearly seven million. United Utilities' headquarters are in Warrington. Its shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 100 Index.

About Teach First

Teach First is a charity with the vision that no child’s educational success should be limited by their socio-economic background. Its mission is to end inequality in education by building a community of exceptional leaders who create change within classrooms, schools and across society:

The charity invests in the power of people to change lives by:
• Finding and developing great people to teach and lead in schools serving the low income communities
• Increasing the attainment and aspirations of pupils and their access to higher education and employment; and
• Building a movement of teachers, school leaders, social entrepreneurs, policy makers and business people who are committed to ending educational inequality.

Since 2003, Teach First has placed 11,000 leaders in schools serving low-income communities, reaching over 1 million young people.