We are thrilled to announce that after a number of difficult decisions, the Climb Wales team have selected the 30 people who will be the pioneers of the Climb Wales programme in its inaugural year.

Over 400 people downloaded application packs, with 150 submitting an application. These people were shortlisted by the team and 80 people were invited to attend an assessment day.

Climb Wales attracted applicants from all over Wales to this exciting opportunity with five assessment days taking place across the country in Llandudno, Carmarthen, and Cardiff.

The innovative and novel selection process saw candidates submit videos about themselves instead of a conventional application form before undertaking an assessment day which involved an escape room and other assessment activities in newly formed teams.

The Climb Wales team were less interested in applicants’ professional background or years of experience, focussing instead on how they interacted with each other, their approach to innovation, new ideas and challenges, and how they could contribute to creating a vibrant, diverse, and inquisitive cohort for the programme.

Attendees of the assessment days reported that they found them to be a valuable and enjoyable experience, saying “[It was a] really well thought-out day with an engaging approach by the examiners and everyone involved,” and “I think this was a brilliant idea. I have already learnt a lot about myself. Even if I’m not successful, the assessment day has been an extremely valuable learning exercise.”

Attendees were also very positive about the inclusive nature of Climb Wales, saying, “I like the fact that opportunity is banding blind and has allowed staff at all levels to take part.”

Jonathon Gray, Director for Innovation and Improvement at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and lead for the Dragon’s Heart Institute, said, “I feel so very fortunate that we have been able to deliver this programme through the Dragon’s Heart Institute as part of the All Wales Intensive Learning Academies. Climb Wales will allow us to develop a national network of excellent leaders who will work together to spread innovation and best practice and who we can call upon when another crisis such as COVID-19 rears its head.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in organising and promoting the programme so far, Ultimate Escape in Llandudno, The Escape Game in Carmarthen and Exitus in Cardiff for hosting us, and of course to each and every single person who submitted an application. We are committed to offering different opportunities to everyone who expressed an interest in Climb Wales, so please expect to hear from us in the near future.”

Climb Wales begins with a multiple-day residential event at the end of October 2021.

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