TWO bright young business stars from a Wrexham finance firm have been selected to be part of a new North Wales Young Talent Academy.
Katy Tilston and Sophie Chambers, both 26 and team leaders at Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management in Regent Street, have been put forward for the newly formed academy which is designed to keep the cream of the region’s aspiring commerce leaders in North Wales.
Young people, aged between 18-30, will take part in the 15-month programme, which kicks off in April, and Katy and Sophie are two of the first group of students to be enrolled in the academy which is receiving major backing from their employer.
The business skills scheme, which is part funded by employers, forms part of the North Wales Business Academy, a £4.4million European Social Fund (ESF) project involving Wrexham Glyndwr University, Bangor University, Coleg Cambria and Grwp Llandrillo Menai.
Hadlow Edwards, which has an office in London’s Mayfair and also recently expanded by taking over the Oswestry-based Ellett Wealth Management, is one of the main North Wales businesses involved in the new academy.
Medwyn Edwards, Director of Hadlow Edwards, said: “The company is delighted to have been part of this very exciting and innovative project which aims to give the cream of young business talent the various skills they will need to enhance their own careers and benefit their employers.
“Another major aim is to help retain the kind of people in North Wales who will be of crucial importance to the future success and prosperity of the region.
“Both Katy and Sophie are the perfect candidates to lead the way on the course and we wish them every success with their studies.”
The Passport to Excellence in Management course which Katy and Sophie have enrolled on involves a set day at the OpTIC Technology Centre in St Asaph once a month along with flexible online learning.
Students will have sessions on sales, social media, strategic thinking, global best practice, leadership, digital futures, marketing and other topics, as well as gaining fresh experience with mentors in their field.
Katy, who is from Broughton in Chester, has been with Hadlow Edwards for two and a half years. She is part of the admin team and Senior PA to one of the firm’s partners, James Parry.
After studying at college, she first worked as a barrister’s clerk in Chester before moving into wealth management.
Katy, who in her time away from work is a keen rower with the Grosvenor Club in Chester and also plays netball, said: “I’m really looking forward to starting at the talent academy as I definitely want to increase my business skills.
“It’s good to be one of the first people to take the new course. I’m sure it will be lots of hard work but it sounds very interesting and will really help with my career in future.”
Her colleague Sophie, who lives in Saltney, spent a few years in the insurance industry working in Ellesmere Port before joining Hadlow Edwards five years ago.
She is currently a senior para planner in the admin department doing technical analysis on pensions and investments.
She said: “The talent academy is a great idea and I’m excited about being a bit of a pioneer as one of its first students.
“I’m grateful to Hadlow Edwards for nominating me for it. The course sounds very interactive and I’m sure that what I learn will help me in my career.
“Studying while also doing a full-time job will be a challenge but I’m really excited about being part of it.”
Lecturer and business owner Gaenor Wyn Roberts, who will coordinate the programme, said: “The North Wales Young Talent Academy is an innovative project designed to meet the needs of employers in developing, promoting and retaining new talent within the workplace.
“We plan to equip talented employees aged 18-30 with the knowledge, experience and skills needed to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.”
Gaenor, from Abergele, added: “This will be achieved through learning which is motivational, engaging and challenging, and which reflects the needs of local Welsh towns and communities in improving the value of the economy whilst embracing and responding to national and global changes and trends.
“Sessions will be delivered from a practical perspective and will include visits and first hand experiences of businesses in North Wales and beyond.
“The learners will achieve a tailored Certificate in Excellence in Management, a Level 4 qualification, which will be celebrated at an award ceremony next summer.
“Katy and Sophie are going to be part of the first group of 25 students and there will be another 25 the year after.
“They are both taking responsibility in the workplace at the moment and are two very good candidates who were nominated for the academy by Dominic Richmond. He is one of the senior managers at Hadlow Edwards and the official delegate to the academy from the company which has backed the project from the start.
Gaenor added: “We hope the new talent academy will leave a footprint and be seen as something of real value which will put North Wales on the map.”
Hadlow Edwards is a Principal Practice of St. James’s Place which is one of the UK’s largest wealth management organisations and looks after client funds amounting to £71.4 billion.
For more on the North Wales Young Talent Academy, call Gaenor Roberts or Rachel Allen on 01978 293375 or email firstname.lastname@example.org