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Cumbria Careers Hub: Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive at Brathay Trust

Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive at Brathay Trust Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive at Brathay Trust

Godfrey Owen, Chief Executive at Brathay Trust, is an Enterprise Adviser at Walney School. Here, he shares his career story and what she finds most rewarding about volunteering with Cumbria Careers Hub as an Enterprise Adviser.

Tell us about your day job... what does it involve?
I am Chief Executive of a charity, Brathay Trust, based in Cumbria. We are a social enterprise, operating in many different markets, including the public, voluntary and private sector, institutions across the educational sector and we also do business with both the public, and business to business.

What is the best thing about your job?
Given the number of markets we operate in, I get to meet many different people, of all ages. That is probably the best thing day to day – overall, however, I really enjoy working in an organisation whose mission is to inspire young people to be the best that they can be.

Tell us about your education and career history...
I went to school in a rural comprehensive school, and went on to university, not really knowing what I wanted to do. After a degree in politics, I volunteered for a summer working in the outdoors, and found out there was a great lifestyle to be had living in Cumbria working with young people. It started off as my gap year, and 4 years later, I thought I should get a proper job. I moved into a role in HR and Training, in London, and really enjoyed that, and started an MBA with The Open University. I guess I enjoyed adventure too much to commute into London forever, so I left for another gap year… sailing which I really love. A year or so later I got a job back in the Lake District with Brathay and have worked here, in different roles ever since. I am really surprised that 25 years later, I am in the same place, but it has always been interesting, challenging and offered different challenges.

If you could pick any person or organisation to get involved in working with young people, who would it be and why?
Not person – a group – as many people under 30 years old to share their experience of work. They are close enough in age to remember what school was like, and hopefully inspire the next generation to be the best they can be.

What do you enjoy most about being an Enterprise Adviser?
I hope I can make a contribution to schools providing as much information and inspiration to their students to think creatively about what they might do with their lives. I also really enjoy working with school leaders who are committed to supporting young people to make the most of their opportunities.

What would you say to someone else about the value of working with young people or being an Enterprise Adviser?
The school leaders I have worked with really value hearing from people with different perspectives to them, so your experience is valuable, and you get to use your skills in a different environment.

What would you say to any young person thinking about their future?
Try and be as open minded as possible about how your career might turn out.

There is a range of opportunities in Cumbria for business-people and organisations to engage and benefit from partnership with local schools and colleges.

We are looking for employers to share their career story and inspire the next generation through videos, virtual work experience and engaging with school career events; The Enterprise Adviser Network – which Godfrey is a part of – involves business volunteers working with a specific school or college to strengthen and support career programmes; and becoming a Cornerstone Employer allows businesses to represent their sector and give a Cumbria-wide view. Together, they aim to ensure all young Cumbrians are prepared and inspired for the world of work.

If you’re interested in getting involved, or would like more information, please email Craig Ivison, Cumbria LEP Skills Manager:

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