ENEI – Great News!

Heard last night that Growing Talent has been shortlisted for an ENEI (Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion) award in their Community Impact category.  Winners will be announced at the Law Society on 14 July 2015!

It’s strange to think when I wrote the entry back in March, 20 people had gone through Growing Talent and secured permanent jobs.  By the time the announcements come round, it will be 41!

It is a great encouragement to the employers who have been involved including Harrow Green, Iron Mountain, Pertemps, Aramark, Baxter Storey, Mitie, Portico, MHFA, Red Personnel, Sheridan Maine, Network Compucare, Honeywell, UpTownOil, JobCentre Plus’s management team and of course PwC to continue, grow and develop Growing Talent over the coming months and years.

Any awards won endorse the programme and encourage others to get involved.  Coupled with the online advertising on Daily Mail, Telegraph and Guardian websites through the month of June and the Evening Standard feature – which I’m now told will be published on 11 June – the word is definitely spreading!

The story in pictures………………


Comfort, Sophia, Holly & Jason – pilot


Mikele, Jordan, Nirosana, Sholape, Anthony, Chris, Samick, James & Caroline – 2nd programme

Stairs 2 Latimer

Andy, Matt, Kavita, Mo, Madi, Ariane & David – 3rd programme

cropped group

Michael, Kit, Selwyn, Kaith, Daoud, Joshua, Sinead, Michell, Max, Jane, Courtney & Jess – 4th programme

Chris and the guys

Gavin, Chris (now a presenter!)Alenchenu, Jose, Bradley, Camilla, Shanika, Reese, Alex, Shennell, Jason & Reece – 5th programme

Whirlwind of Visits Last Week!

In amongst the usual order of business last week including a VETs (Veterans Employment Transition) meeting in Canary Wharf, discussion for the annual  Growing Talent graduation ceremony in November and a meeting with a leading facilities company on ideas for a mental health/wellbeing training programme, were three site visits to see how some Growing Talent Associates were getting on.


Based in Old Street, London, MHFA is a niche organisation leading the way in mental health first aid training and awareness.  Part of the global family of MHFA which is now in over 20 countries globally, they were looking for an enthused person to join the team in data entry/admin duties and decided to put the vacancy through Growing Talent.  Reece Newton was selected by Gillian and Emma from MHFA’s central team to join them.


Reece and Gillian

Two weeks in, I was keen to find out how Reece was getting on – seen above with Gillian – at MHFA’s offices.  Unfortunately, the directions I’d given Reece were pretty useless as a lot of building work had gone on since my last visit!  So after a stressful start trying to the find the office, Reece soon settled into the team.  So far he’s printed and checked over 800 Mental Health First Aid Certificates, worked on the database ensuring records are uptodate and general office duties.  Completely different to his previous retail experience, Reece is so far loving the challenge – and the commute!



Over to PwC’s offices at Embankment Place to see Alenchenu working with the five strong rapid team which includes David Calloway from Growing Talent 4!  Alenchenu is settling in well.  He’s already absorbed the processes for tracking and delivering packages throughout the building – not as easy as you might think!  He’s already making plans for when he secures the permanent job.  First on his list is independence!  He’s keen to get his own place.  Next is evening college to focus on courses to aid his ultimate dream job – robotics prosthetics. Alenchenu is enjoying the role so far and getting on well with the team.

Alenchenu EP

My final visit was to Camilla at Portico seen below with one of the Portico managers – Gary Grant………


Gary and Camilla


Looking the consumate professional in her Portico uniform, Camilla looks as though she has worked at PwC’s More London offices for years!  Michal – Team Leader and Marcia – Floor Manager, below, agreed Camilla has not only worked hard to support the team, she has learnt the meeting room operations quickly, staying late to aid events and been positively enthused throughout.


Marci and Michael

This week, Camilla is in the sun with her family celebrating her mum’s 50th.  On her return Marcia and Michal plan to give Camilla the diverse experience of a floor assistant.  Camilla has enjoyed Growing Talent so far and looks forward to what lies ahead……………


With plans for an advertorial in the Evening Standard and  a month long banner ad campaign on line, hopefully Growing Talent will grow and grow!

Growing Talent 5 – What’s The Status?

Well after a prolific pre-screening programme back in April, leading employers including Mitie, Harrow Green, Iron Mountain, Portico and MHFA selected 11 to join them on the Growing Talent journey.


Jason, Bradley & Gavin went into operations roles with Harrow Green,  the leading business relocation organisation, who also took Shanika in a Customer Service role and Jose who has joined their HR team.


Trev and co


(l-r: Trev, Shanika, Sharon & Jose)

At the point of employment on completion, Jason, Bradley & Gareth will be skills multi operations assistants with a solid career path ahead of them.  Jason is already learning the tablet technology and has his sights set on installation.


Shankia had only retail experience and was a little worried on the office environment.  She need not have worried!  The team already feel she’s been there forever and is like a sponge when it comes to learning.  She is enthused and supportive with a strong focus on customer satisfaction.  The end job within the team will call for extensive liaison on the phone, in person whilst keeping a cool head in solution sourcing.


Jose was born and brought up in Maderia.  A strong trait of self-sufficiency saw Jose relocate to the UK a few years back to learn English.  His career had largely been spent in hospitality. but a natural passion for people and business saw him undertake evening studies in CIPD HR.  Working closely with the new HR Manager, Jose has a new project to deliver though idea, design, testing, launch, training.


Mr Reece Worrell joined the Mitie team in the archiving department.  The team look after all the information, records, contracts etc of a global financial firm.  Better than Reece 1 & 2 is the use of ‘Mister’ – not a note of favouritism!


Mr Reece Newton was selected by Gillian and Emma to join their small but industrious team at MHFAEngland based in Old Street in the role of Admin Assistant.  Reece was initially nervous – taking time to make sure his work was accurate – especially when it came to producing the First Aider Certificates!

Gillian, Reece, Simon

Gillian from MHFAEngland with Reece and Simon – Portico.


Pauline spotted Alenchenu’s potential to sine in her team at Mitie Service Solutions.  As part of the Rapids team, Alenchenu has to ensure all deliveries of urgent items reach their destination efficiently.  Not as easy as you might think!  These items can be high value documents or personal IT goods. Based in the Charing Cross area, Alenchenu is looking forward to the end role and promotion prospects!


Iron Mountain choose Shennell and Alex to join their data entry team in East London.  Shennell is on a year’s break from her University course in Psychology and Criminology.  Having done summer and part-time roles, Shennell wanted something which would give her options.  She has settled in well and is on course to secure a flexible job to turn into a career when she’s ready.  Alex, quiet by nature,


Camilla was selected to join the Executive Welcome team with Portico working at global organisations in central London.  This role is highly visible and customer facing.  Responsible for meet and greet, direction, meeting room set-up, client safety on site, inter departmental liaison the Executive Welcome team work with all levels of personnel including Board.  Camilla has embraced the challenge and is working very well.  Simon, MD of Portico and Jordan, Welcome Team Executive – also Growing Talent Associate on the 2nd programme! – were judges on the Social Enterprise idea, the flagship workshop of the Orientation Week.

Simon Camilla Jordan


Camilla won the Social Enterprise Challenge with her idea – Renaissance House.  Seen below receiving her cup from Jon or PwC


Camila and Jon


The guys have all been on site for a week now and starting to get used to the routine of employment.  Each have gone into roles open minded and hungry to learn.  They are doing well and initial reports are encouraging.  

Watch this space to see how the guys progress over the coming weeks……………..

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