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Cardiff school children open their eyes to a world of opportunity

A series of Cardiff primary school visits from some of the biggest names in business, arts and culture have been arranged for this year's Open Your Eyes careers week.


Open Your Eyes is designed to raise the children's career aspirations as they prepare to move from primary to secondary school.


Starting today, 27 businesses and organisations from Cardiff and the wider city region are visiting nine primary schools to speak to Year 6 children about the career opportunities available to them.


Originally the brainchild of staff at Severn Primary School in Riverside, Open Your Eyes Week was first held in 2015, starting with the help and support of nearby businesses and people connected to the school.


Using links created through the Cardiff Commitment this year, this year's Open Your Eyes will see more businesses and organisations involved, visiting more schools and speaking to more children.


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.


Deputy Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry, said: "It is great to see Open Your Eyes being offered to so many children and that more businesses are coming on board to talk about the excellent career opportunities that Cardiff and the wider city region has to offer.


"By opening their eyes to a world of opportunity, we can help the children start to look ahead to things they might otherwise not have considered.


"In raising aspirations for what they want to do when they grow up, we can also help the children to achieve in education, motivated to succeed so that one day their dreams might become reality.


"Open Your Eyes plays an important role in helping the children maintain their enthusiasm for learning, ensuring that they go on to employment, further education or training after they leave school and take full advantage of Cardiff's modern and dynamic economy."


Describing how Severn Primary School first came up with the idea of staging an Open Your Eyes careers week, Headteacher Mrs Julie Morris said: "We began Open Your Eyes in 2015 to give children in Year 6 a background into the world of work and to help them develop their own aspirations.


"It began locally, with the staff at Severn primary creating their own links with nearby businesses and inviting people to speak using existing contacts.


"After meeting with the council to share some of things we were doing to engage with the children, the chance to work with them through the Cardiff Commitment and expand Open Your Eyes to other schools in the area came about.


"I am really looking forward to working with these multi-national businesses and well known organisations, and I know the children will be delighted to meet them too. These links will also open up opportunities for us to work together in the long-term."


Cardiff Council (@CardiffCouncil), the nine primary schools and 27 businesses and organisations will be tweeting using #OYEWeek17


The nine primary schools are:

Grangetown Primary School, Kitchener Primary School, Landsdowne Primary School, Mounstuart Primary School, Ninian Park Primary School, Radnor Primary School, Severn Primary School, St Paul's Church in Wales Primary School, St Mary the Virgin Church in Wales Primary School


The 27 businesses and organisations are:

Aldi, Atradius, BBC, Blake Morgan, Cardiff Blues, Cardiff Castle, Cardiff Council, Cardiff International White Water, Celsa, Circle IT, Eversheds Sutherland, Exchange Hotel, GE Aviation, ITV, Kier, Lovell Construction, Millennium FX, Morganstone, Network Rail, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Royal Air Force, Royal Mail, Techniquest, Visit Cardiff, Wales Millennium Centre, Women in Poverty, Working Word