12 October 2020
Expion’s Caroline Vooght and TD Group’s Tony Priest have received awards for their contribution as business volunteers to Silverstone Park’s Inspiration for Innovation (I4I) local schools/careers programme with the Automotive 30% Club.
The programme is reliant on a network of business volunteers – many from Silverstone Park and the Silverstone Technology Cluster – to improve awareness about career path options amongst students in the local area.
The volunteers have helped to achieve this through a series of tailored events at Kingsthorpe College, Northampton, The Buckingham School and Sponne School, Towcester and which, in the 2019/20 academic year, reached more than 1,000 Year 8 and 9 students.
Caroline and Tony, each an expert in recruitment, participated in these events and volunteered additional time and support for youngsters – Caroline returning to schools on her own and Tony and his colleagues during student tours of businesses at Silverstone Park.
That extra input has earned both a Tom Maccabee Inspiration for Innovation Volunteer of the Year Award – presented by Ducati UK MD Tim Maccabee, who was instrumental in originally bringing Silverstone Park developer MEPC and the Automotive 30% Club together to help get the I4I programme off the ground.
Tim commented: “Caroline’s and Tony’s contributions have been prolific – Inspiration for Innovation is there to improve information for young people at a really important stage of their lives and it’s great to have volunteers, like Caroline and Tony, who are so passionate about supporting young people by helping them understand the opportunities and giving them the confidence to pursue their ambitions.”
Caroline (Director, Expion) specialises in finding top talent for fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies, and Tony (MD, TD Group) for clients in the high-tech and finance sectors.
Caroline, who also received the award in 2018/19, said: “Starting a career is hard to do, and young people need support, and the right people around them to guide, advise and encourage.
“As a mum myself, I’ve had recent first-hand experience of watching young people navigate CV writing and interviews, along with making decisions about their future and career path.
“Coupled with my years as a recruiter, this inspires me to want to support as many young people as possible to have the best possible chances of success, regardless of the path they have chosen.”
Tony added: “Schools are great at teaching hard skills – knowledge – in subjects such as maths, languages, science and so on.
“But it’s the soft skills – the personality traits such as positivity, emotional intelligence, leadership, empathy, adaptability, team player attitude – that will have the biggest impact on all our lives. Its these skills that will help the students make the most of any opportunities in life.
“This is why I get involved with the fantastic Inspiration for Innovation programme – to get the students engaged and connected with people, to show them they can achieve anything with the right mindset.”