#See Potential

#SeePotential is a Government backed campaign to get more people into work who have difficult backgrounds.   These include long-term unemployed people, ex-offenders, care leavers, recovering addicts, homeless people, single parents and military veterans.  Usually aimed at the 16-24 age group.


I attended an event on this subject yesterday at a City law firm.  Expectations were high.  The Minister for Employment, Damian Hinds, was present along with numerous charities and the employers some had worked with.


M&S partners The Princes Trust and spoke about their decade plus programme of work experience lasting 4-6 weeks which has seen 50% officially into work.


KFC & Dame Kelly Holmes Trust presented their two week work experience.  They take 16 young people at a time aged 16-24 which results in 5 into jobs at a time.


Drive Forward, a charity working with under 24 – mainly care leavers, said cvs were problematic for someone with a dysfunctional background and called for a more innovative, inclusive way.


The Minister of course did not stay for the whole event.  Which is a shame.  He may have learnt some of the issues.


The thoughts I had were:

Why were there no employers not already involved in equal and diverse recruitment present

What happens to the people who don’t secure jobs on these programme?

How long do those who do secure jobs, stay in them on these programme?

How can a short foundation of work experience without training in soft skills deliver      sustainable employment?


This event could be viewed as a missed opportunity.  There was no addressing the issues that affect all parties and therefore no discussion on possible resolutions.  No new employers to engage with.


I am very proud that every person selected on Growing Talent has:

  1. A permanent, provisional job offer at the start
  2. Orientation week – to build confidence before going on site
  3. Upto 10 weeks full-time training in the vacant role
  4. Holistic week covering personal finance, fitness, nutrition and well being
  5. Three robust manuals for onward learning
  6. The average time in employment is 2 years before moving on.
  7. 100% percent who complete secure a permanent job


I have worked on inclusive employment since 2004.  During that time I have interacted with several leading charities.  There are a number of issues I found which include:


Charities are funded by specific regions and therefore focussed on this area alone.  They won’t refer anyone into a programme where they will not be able to draw the cash incentive from their contract.


Charities often want to charge you a fee to ‘train’ you in dealing with their clients!


Charities often don’t know everything about their clients.  All of whom are also JobCentre Plus clients.  Having documentation and clearance to work in the UK doesn’t mean that person has the right to the public purse – i.e. benefits.  An employer can have a situation where they start a training programme and someone has to leave because their benefits have stopped.


Charities are sometimes funded by JobCentre Plus to get someone into work.  This means there can sometimes be quite a lot of negotiation when neither side wants to pay for travel/clothes etc.  Understandable on the JobCentre’s part as they’ve already paid the charity.


To me, it’s a ‘no brainer’ for employers to recruit through Growing Talent.  It doesn’t cost them anything and they know everything about their new talent before hiring them.


It couldn’t be simpler!  So See the Potential and use Growing Talent!


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