High Sheriff’s Skills Project

Herefordshire Business Board has been working closely with Herefordshire’s High Sheriff for 2020-21, Tricia Thomas, on her chosen theme for her year in office: Preparing Young People for Work.

Herefordshire's High Sheriff 2020-21, Tricia Thomas
High Sheriff, Tricia Thomas, pictured shortly after her investiture in March 2020

As a business owner herself – she runs Leominster based Thomas Panels and Profiles with her husband, Richie – Tricia speaks passionately on this subject and since taking up office in March 2020 worked with the Business Board to develop a special careers-focused competition for schools. The competition, which was launched in the autumn term of 2020, was entitled ‘Just the Job’. It was aimed at year 6 and 7 pupils to get them thinking about the type of job they’d like to do when they are older.

There were some great prizes up for grabs. The winning school (St Paul’s CofE Primary, Hereford) received an award of £2,000 towards career related teaching support. Each pupil received a certificate and there were vouchers for the best three submissions in both year groups and for each submission option (ie words, video, art). The best entry in each section and age group received vouchers of £50.

Tricia said: “I see too many young people unprepared for the world of work. Not all have the basics: being punctual, reliable, willing, positive, listening, speaking calmly, consideration for others, following a process. These traits are POWER skills – having them empowers you – and their importance is increasingly being recognised by employers. They can mean the difference between getting the job, or a promotion; of having their opinion heard, of being happy at work and at home. I have come to realise we need to start early with young people, building confidence, getting them to think about the kind of subjects they like, what kind of skills they already have, what they need, and what they can be in the future. My intention is that the compeition will be a fun, creative and thought provoking project without being a drain on resources.”

The competition closed in February 2021, having attracted more than 250 entries and significant wider engagement from schools. You can see the full list of winners over on the High Sheriff’s website.



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