Our Graduation on 16 December marks the closure of Growing Talent for 2019. Thanks to the funders, it will be back in 2020 with 6 new programmes confirmed.
As we approach closure of this year, I reflect back on the trials and triumphs of 2019 for Growing Talent.
First the trials!
January 2019 we kicked off with the new format of Growing Talent – reducing down the time spent training in the vacant role with the employer from 10 weeks to four. The Orientation and Holistic weeks remain the same. This has caused a few concerns. For those people who have multiple barriers to employment, four weeks isn’t always long enough to grow in confidence to be sure the end role is the right role.
JobCentre Plus has been restructured with leads who knew Growing Talent well moved to different roles. This has meant a vastly reduced support from East, West and North London districts. Unfortunately, this meant we lost an excellent employer with great roles based around the M25.
With the full roll out of Universal Credit, JobCentre Plus has little contact with unemployed people who just need a confidence boost. Each JobCentre is authorised to display what posters they want. With so many of their own Government programmes, Growing Talent posters were never put up! Therefore, those people submitted by JobCentre Plus often have more barriers to overcome in their quest for employment.
Now the Triumphs! – which for me eclipse the trials!
From January – December 2019 we had 34 unemployed people start Growing talent from all social, educational backgrounds. Out of these, 27 completed Growing Talent and secured their permanent jobs.
We had our first father and son success story! Referred by a friend who secured their role on Growing Talent in 2018, Navin applied and secured his role with Mitie based at Embankment Place. Navin introduced his dad Nalin to me. A fascinating career with diverse experience including a long tenure supporting the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to London! After multiple senior management roles, Nalin decided to retire. When he realised it was too early and he wanted to return to work, he encountered employers looking at his past experience rather than what he wanted to do now. After an introduction, Nalin started a night role as hotel manager with Club Quarters. He told me last week he’s now secured the day role he wanted at another Club Quarters Hotel and is very happy!
Bernie who was on the same Growing Talent with Navin, wanted to go to Canada and see a bear. He told me a few weeks back he’d achieved his dream. Bumping into the Graduates of Growing Talent and seeing them achieve their goals and grow so much is awe inspiring.
I know from the feedback all participants give me at each stage of their journey, Growing Talent has literally changed their lives.
The triumphs far outweigh the trials!