New Year = New Opportunity!

At the start of 2017, there were 27 people who really wanted to change their lives and get into permanent work – but being unemployed – they had no idea how.

 

At the same time there were a number of employers including some from the world of hospitality, business moves, recruitment, data management and business services looking to add new talent to their businesses but not knowing how to confidently recruit people with knowledge of their current and future potential as well as their commitment and reliability.

 

Growing Talent is the bridge between the two.  A supported journey for both sides to evaluate the other delivering sustainable recruitment and no surprises!

 

All 27 people mentioned above at the start of 2017, completed Growing Talent and went into work.  Their employers were confident they had the right match for their roles, teams and business.

 

To date, Growing Talent has seen 121 people from diverse backgrounds go into permanent jobs changing their lives and their employer’s perception on the talent that is missed in the ranks of our unemployed population.

 

It’s so difficult ‘selling’ your skills and potential on a faceless cv.  It’s even harder if confidence has dropped due to unemployment.  Some of the success stories of Growing Talent below………

 

Richard – mid-30s and never worked.  Dropped school at 15.  Secured a role with Harrow Green – still working there almost 2 years later.

 

Dan – a graduate who didn’t know what career he wanted.  Joined a front of house team on a corporate site as a Welcome Host.  18 months later – on their fastback programme progressing to team leader.

 

Chris – a little over 3 years ago, had a series of temp jobs in retail and some volunteering.  Was unwell with depression.  When asked why he should be given a chance on Growing Talent, he replied ‘I honestly don’t know’.  He joined a business solutions organisation on a corporate site.  After two years he moved to a hotel reception role and is now Supervisor there  managing a team!  He’s also started a degree course in his spare time.

 

If you are looking to get into work in 2018 and don’t know how – check http://www.growing-talent.co.uk.

 

As an employer, if you don’t recruit through Growing Talent, do you want to continue missing out on great talent like Chris, Dan and Richard?  It costs nothing other than time, open mind and commitment.

 

What are you going to change in 2018?

Life skills from the Navy Seals…..

Admiral William H McRaven gave an insightful life lessen in a graduation speech in 2014.  Key points came from his basic seal training back in 1977 and is highly relevant today……..  You can track down the film on You Tube…

If you want to change the world – or just your part in it:

Start with making your bed.  what was the point of daily bed inspections?  To set the bar.  If you can’t do the little stuff – you’ll never do the big stuff. It sets a positive note for the day – you’ve completed your first task!  If nothing else, you’ll come home to a well made bed!

Learn how to paddle! A boat will only travel efficiently if everyone works together.  Know when to ask for help. The ‘munchkins’ where the best paddle team.  From different backgrounds, different statues, all had heart, worked together and won the challenge.

Get over being a cookie – for failed uniform inspection, seals had to go in the water then roll in the sand – called ‘cookie’.  They then stayed in this all day.  Many couldn’t take this constant failure and dropped out.  They missed the lesson of failure.  You have to keep going.

 

Embrace the circus: for failing a physical challenge, a Seal had to do two extra hours.  Embrace it, it builds stamina.  The lesson is you will fail and sometime fail often but keep going, it builds stamina and resilience.

 

Go head first – sometimes you have to do things a different way and dive in.

 

Face down the bullies – Seals are trained to stand their ground when swimming in shark infested waters.  If a shark circles – punch it hard on the snout – it will swim away.

 

Be the best you can – especially in the darkest moment.

When you’re up to your neck in mud – start singing! – The power of hope.  It takes just one person and spreads quickly.  Think of Washington, Lincoln, King, Mahala

 

Don’t ever ring the bell!  In Seal training, there is a brass bell which people ring  to give up.  Never give-up.  Keep going you will succeed.

 

“Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.”

“It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.”

“Changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.”

Some great lessons for us all………..

The ‘Internal Supervisor’……

I heard this term for the first time on the ASIST 2 day workshop in Brighton.  A fellow delegate was a psychotherapist and used it to explain a technique used professionally.

 

When speaking with a client, she uses her ‘Internal Supervisor’ to highlight the occasions to dig deeper.  If she found herself getting bored, was her client getting monotone and repetitive.  Often people do this when they are trying to avoid the real issue.  As she explained this, I realised we all have an ‘Internal Supervisor’ or ‘gut instinct’.

 

I must admit, I had never questioned my moods when listening to someone else but I will from now on.  It’s a logical tool to use in supporting people to ensure we dig deep enough to get the entire story out.

 

Are you intone with your ‘Internal Supervisor’?

Sexism? Been around for decades…..

There is rightly a lot in the press at the moment about sexism across society and business.  Danny Cotton is pushing for the term ‘Fireman’ to be abolished and ‘Firefighter’ to be used.

Pay inequality is rife and across all industries.  Sometimes it’s hard to remember the Equalities Act is seven years old when we still have this divide going on.

 

Yesterday Theresa May invited five ‘Canary Girls’ to 10 Downing Street to say ‘thank you’ for their role in the war.  All in their 90s, they recollected the dangers they worked in without even thinking about it.

 

Cordite was the substance they worked with in the ammunitions factories to make the explosives for the front.  Exposure to this – remember, long before our stringent H&S laws, turned the users yellow like canaries.

 

Looking back over history we have many examples of women breaking barriers despite how impenetrable these barriers initially seemed.

 

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson – became the first UK female doctor in the 1860s.  Nancy Astor became the first female MP in 1919.  Caroline Herschel was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society’s gold medal in 1828.  In 1848 Mary Sommerville’s book on Physical Geography was used in schools for the next 50 years.  The list goes on. It’s clear these women and every woman throughout history who has become an influence in their chosen field, may not have set out to break any glass ceilings or sexist views, but what happy by products!

 

I remember one of the first Asian female CEO’s said she never noticed a glass ceiling, she just got on with the job.

 

Sir Nicholas Winton said ethics kept him doing his work.  When asked what he meant he explained humanity’s ethics of decency, kindness, acceptance etc which he also felt were now gone.  If we treated each other with dignity and respect would we have the inequality we do?  I doubt it.

 

Surely every child just needs to be nurtured to belief they can achieve anything if they believe in themselves.

 

What a great example the ‘Canary Girls’ and every other person of achievement is to all of us no matter our gender, culture, race etc.  Any human being can achieve if they believe they can.

Is it too good to be true? Actually no – it really is free…….

‘How do you recruit the perfect candidate without incurring any cost?’

‘How can you be confident your potential new hire is right for your role, team & business’

Answer:  Growing Talent

Growing Talent is a business led and funded initiative to bring the unemployed and employers with permanent London-based jobs together.  Over a 12 week, mutually mentored period each gets to know the other well resulting in confident recruitment.

 

With four programmes planned for 2018 – who not get involved?

 

GT16            17 January 2018

GT17            18 April 2018

GT18            18 July 2018

GT19            19 September 2018

 

For more information, checkout http://www.growing-talent.co.uk.

 

Spreading the knowledge……..

Friday 23 June saw the delivery on the third in a series of MHFALite workshops for a global financial services organisation in London.  Places for a total of 60 people over the three workshops were well received.

 

MHFALite is the 3hour introduction to mental health first aid.  It is a short introduction to a big subject!  The course involves a lot of interaction, films and group work.  Having a table to work from is essential.

 

First potential pressure point – no table in the room!  The organiser had assumed all training rooms had tables in.  Unfortunately this room is used for non-interactive sessions!

 

Good humour was my tool of choice in ensuring the experience for the delegates was not diluted because of this.  Despite this hiccup, there was a lot of sharing experiences, issues at work and even some laughter.

 

A great session.  But what did the delegates think?

 

‘I will be more confident in knowing what to do.  I will also be more vocal when discussion the implementation of company policy in this area with senior management’.

 

‘Jane was authentic – added a real human touch’

 

‘I now have a list of resources handy and will be open minded when having conversations’

 

‘Helpful in identifying initial changes, language to use and addressing stigma’.

 

‘I now know what resources to access’.

 

‘Interesting to learn the link between physical and mental health’.

 

‘Jane was really passionate, pragmatic, realistic and knowledgeable’.

 

‘Really good course.  I would recommend it being made more available’.

 

‘An enormous amount of information to improve the business units approach in this area’.

 

‘One of the things I learnt was it’s ok to not get involved if I don’t feel comfortable’.

 

‘Jane was approachable, encouraging and knowledgable’.

 

‘Great course – wish everyone had the chance to do it’.

 

‘I learnt to focus on the small things – subtle changes – rather than be solution focussed’.

 

‘Brilliant course, well worth the investment in time.  Jane is great – makes this topic very accessible and has a great delivery.’

 

‘I loved the ALGEE framework which is easy to remember.’

Mental Health First Aid – Lite

Just been retained to deliver three workshops for 60 people in total for a global organisation with HQ in London.

 

With diverse backgrounds in the room, these should be an effective training sessions!

 

Lite is an introduction to the full Adult First Aid course.  It covers:

 

  1. Languages & Mental Health Issues
  2. What is Mental Health
  3. Mental Health Problems
  4. Supporting people in distress
  5. Managing our own well-being

 

Covering 3 hours, the course is designed to be a taster in understanding this complex subject.

Holistic Week – Growing Talent…..

This is the ‘soft skills’ section of Growing Talent’s 12 week programme.  Usually carried out halfway through.  It’s a time for the Growing Talent Associates to meet up again and encourage each other face-to-face as well as learn some wellbeing techniques and ‘kick back’ a little from their usual work timetable!

 

We returned to Southwark Cathedral were we held the Orientation Week back in early February!  At least no more presentations before senior managers!

So what did we cover?:

Monday – parts 1 & s of Mental Health First Aid – a global course resulting in a qualification as a MHFAider.  This is an intense four part global programme so we lightened the learning a little with Lesley’s 3Rs!

 

Lesley, seen above, is part of the Health & Safety team at PwC.  Her 3Rs are Refuel, Recycle and  Refresh. It’s all about what to eat, how much sleep, exercise all the usual things we need to consider when making choices.  It’s especially difficult doing this on a strict budget!

‘I got a lot of information which I’ll put into practice!’ ‘Another important segment that allowed growth within the unknown.’

Tuesday – saw parts 3 and 4 of the MHFA programme be completed.  This time, Healthy Bites  Nutrition was sandwiched  between the two sections.  This invaluable workshop by Kate from HBN (www.hbnutrition.org) dispels myths around diets, the latest fads and new guidelines – such as only 7 tsp of sugar a day.  Kate shares the cost savings in making your own food, cost comparison and ingredients as well as how to eat quickly prepared nutritious meals on a budget!

 

Kate below preparing the Associates for making their own Pot Noodle!

 

A good workshop for sustaining health both in and out of work” ” I know what food groups are now!’

 

Sharing why recycling waste is so important was Dan from Suez, on the left below, on Wednesday.  This got everyone thinking.  A quick roundtable showed the difference between residential recycling across boroughs.  Indeed one of the Associates who has never recycled was inspired to go through her bins!

 

 

Thursday we talked finance.  Covering the basics we should know around debt, regular payments budgets, and so on. It’s surprising how well received this workshop is but on reflection maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.  After all, where do you learn this stuff if you don’t have supportive, informed parents? Does the Education system have the time to do this?

 

‘The 3 x thirds will be really useful’, ‘I learnt about saving money and ISAs – really useful when we start earning’, ‘this was the most important topic covered for me’ ‘I learnt how to plan ahead’ ‘One million % worth it.  I understand now how to be financially stable.’

In the afternoon it was off to do an Art project!  Terrifying for some!  Their task was to visit Tate Gallery in Bankside and select an item that ‘spoke’ to them.  This could be in a good or bad way.

 

Left to right above inside the Tate are Mokhtar, Leon, Zainab, Ilamathy, Stefan, Ashley, Sebastien & John.

 

Friday morning we had a good discussion on their visit to the Tate, why they selected their piece of art and what they would ask the artist……… then they had to draw it!  You can see the results in the feature photo.  So much laughter in the room.  For some it ignited a childhood love of drawing for others it opened their eyes to a possible new creative way to feed their soul during lunchtime break and outside of work.

 

After some paperwork we finished up the week at lunchtime.They guys presented me with a lovely gift before going home for a well deserved break!

 

On Monday they returned to their employer sites:  Zainab, Ashley & Mokhtar – Harrow Green, Craig, John & Ashling – Iron Mountain – Ashling had to work this week, Leon – Pertemps, Ilamathy – Red Personnel, Stefan – Mitie Connect and Sebastien at Invest In Buy To Let.

 

Who teaches work ethics?

Yesterday, the Metro featured a disturbing piece on graduates leaving university without basic workplace ethics i.e. the soft skills essential for life long employment.

Basic skills such as teamwork, problem solving are missing along with the work ethic soft skills – timekeeping, attendance, communication etc.

 

A spokesman for higher education said schools should teach this.  Schools would probably say the reverse – it’s Uni or parents’ responsibilities.

 

So in all of this buck passing, who should and is equipped to teach this?

 

There isn’t a one size solution to this problem.  Many young people from diverse backgrounds aren’t aware of these soft skills whether from a dysfunctional or privileged background.  The fact is this simple area of employability skills can prevent someone getting a job, keeping it and growing it into a career.

 

I encountered a graduate who was outwardly very confident, with strong communication skills but no idea where flirting stopped and sexual harassment took over!  Her work in the role was excellent but her communication in the workplace makes the whole team feel uncomfortable.  What she doesn’t realise is a claim can come from anyone in the office or someone passing through it.

 

Another person had the importance of attendance and sickness explained to them and the consequences on the team, business and her prospects of securing the permanent job.  Having attended just half the days she should have due to sickness.   Silly reasons like having had a Friday off for a stomach bug, been fine over the weekend and then get another bug on the Monday doesn’t look great to the employer.  Now on her final chance – will she take on board the guidance given?  We wait to see……..

 

A key missing point is JobCentre Plus.  In general, everyone – graduate or not – will be a client of JobCentre Plus before going into work.  Maybe this would be the best area to focus on these essential soft employability skills?

 

Remember when hiring in the traditional recruitment way – you won’t usually have exposure to someone’s ‘soft skills’.  Maybe a trial period like http://www.growing-talent.co.uk would help?

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a glamorous world………

for Stefan….. so far

 

On Growing Talent, Stefan is working with Mitie Connect at one of their global skincare clients in Fitzrovia, Stefan is exposed to the high-end world of leading brand products – including those new to the marketplace.  Of course this makes him a firm favourite amongst his female circle!

 

Surrounded by boutique shops ‘ including the niche Pollocks Toy Museum below – the local area is buzzing with business.

toy-shop

 

The mechanics of the role with Mitie Connect of Mailroom/Logistics Team  delivers variety – customer integration, problem solving, tracking, packing, despatching, as well as costs and recharges.  All of which suits Stefan.  The potential opportunities being based on this global entity’s site are endless!

 

A small team headed by Wayne, includes Jack and Leon with some support from temps and contractor implants.

 

As you can see below, Stefan on the left looks like ‘an old hand’….

 

team

Wayne, centre above has a lot of industry knowledge and is a ‘great mentor’ said Stefan.

Discussing how it’s gone so far below – both Wayne and Stefan agreed – so far so good!

 

wayne-and-stefan-hub

Wayne is keen to learn the rest of the role, get working so he can save for some holidays abroad to add to the vast amount of countries he’s already visited.  Maybe he can add to his five languages as well!

 

Watch this space to see how Stefan gets on over the coming weeks.

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