skip to main content

In the Spotlight: An interview with Employment & Skills Manager Adeana Raper

Adeana has been part of the Henry Boot team for 20 years
Adeana has been part of the Henry Boot team for 20 years

Due to hang up her boots in April, Adeana has had a huge impact working on The Glass Works, Barnsley, so we decided to have a catch up with Adeana to discuss her time on the project.

What’s your role on The Glass Works?

I have been involved in The Glass Works project for about 4 years. My role has been to get involved with schools and raise the aspirations and ambitions of young people in Barnsley.

One of my key roles is working with Barnsley Council on their Skills and Employment Strategy through More and Better Jobs. This strategy aims to get individuals ready for work, get into work, get on in work and to stay in work. Through More and Better Jobs, I have assisted in the implementation of the Employer Promise, which is signed by Barnsley businesses or businesses who work in Barnsley and who are keen to play a part in the local economy.

I have also been involved with the Supported Internship scheme in Barnsley, which aims to guide young people with an Education & Healthcare Plan into work.

How has this project affected your role?

For the last four years the project has been a major part of my life and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the people of Barnsley. It’s been a pleasure to work amongst people who genuinely want the best for their town folk and are not just doing it because it is their job. I am going to miss everyone!

Adeana supporting one of many career events she has done in the region
Adeana supporting one of many career events she has done in the region

Over the course of The Glass Works do you think our community work has made a significant difference to people in Barnsley?

I definitely think so. I hope young people see how construction improves people’s lives and it really is a fantastic industry with a wealth of job opportunities for every ability. But it isn’t all about the work; I have been closely involved with the Better Barnsley Bond, which many local charities and community organisations have benefited from through funding grants. We have also directly supported many charitable events both through time, money and fundraising.

The Skills Village was very successful and enabled young people to participate in taster sessions to gain practical experience of construction. All that we have achieved in Barnsley is testament to the hard work of the entire Project Team and of course the people of Barnsley.

Pick one event you have enjoyed the most and why?

This is a real tough one. I love my job, so it is always very difficult to pick one event. I was privileged to be Chair of the Supported Internship Group and to be an Enterprise Adviser, as well as a Super Enterprise Adviser representing the Sheffield City Region. I am also proud to be a member of the More and Better Jobs Working Group.

The most recent event I have enjoyed was speaking at the Talent Bank Launch alongside The Major of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis. I truly believe in what I do, but not all businesses allow their employees to engage with schools and this has to change. Our young people need us!

Adeana spoke about her work in Barnsley as part of the launch of Sheffield City Region’s Talent Bank
Adeana spoke about her work in Barnsley as part of the launch of Sheffield City Region’s Talent Bank

What do you enjoy doing outside of work and what are your plans for retirement?

I have a young Jack Russell, Gertie, who is very energetic and keeps me on my toes. We enjoy our caravan in Norfolk and often spend weekends there and visit my daughter and grandchildren. Having five grandchildren I’m sure I will be called upon to do Granny Duties during school holidays. As for retirement, I bought a bike last year, so I intend to go cycling but only on cycle paths! As my husband Bob is also retiring, we intend to go camping more often, if the weather is right! I will also be involved with the support group for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), which my mum was diagnosed with 5 years ago.

What will you miss most about work?

That is an easy question – the people!

What are your top tips for successfully engaging with the local community/schools?

Be open. Non-judgmental, say yes to everything and worry about the finer details later. Listen. Remember you were young once! Not everyone comes from a warm, caring, loving home. Everyone is good at something, it just takes time to find out what that something is.

Thanks for all your hard work Adeana, we wish you a long, happy and healthy retirement.