Exciting meeting with @DavidSteeds & @Maddiemum @JCPinSthLondon yesterday planning @Growing_Talent 2023. Four programmes will run throughout the year enabling forward planning for all involved. Targeting London based employers and unemployed people looking for a different journey into work.
In these challenging times, now more than ever this unique collaboration is needed to deliver positive results to all.
Thanks to all involved over 9yrs Growing Talent has run changing lives by delivering real social mobility
What will the next year hold for Growing Talent?????
Who knows! One thing is for sure, we’re ready to roll that bowling ball!
Amongst very many others. Of course the smallest detail can have the biggest impact so it’s important to know what the goal is of the event upfront. Then it’s easy to work out the intricacies such as budgets, speakers, awards/gifts etc.
Luckily, the unique event I’m planning is the Recognition and Relaunch of Growing Talent – neither has been done before.
Pre Covid, we held annual graduation ceremonies for everyone who had completed Growing Talent over the previous year coming together in London to celebrate with their respective employers.
Covid brought many changes across the board for everyone – in work and at home. Whilst we switched to virtual delivery for an employer who was looking to hire in permanent national roles working from home, the traditional route to employment outside the home has changed.
The two years plus of uncertainty we lived under during Covid, didn’t end when the heat of Covid diminished. Covid was quickly followed by the war in Ukraine, the consumer crisis, and now the prospect of rising taxes, meaning the pool of talented unemployed people who want to work has dwindled, leaving employers with multiple roles to fill.
This lack of confidence on both sides needs a unique tool to bring each together. That tool for many will be Growing Talent.
Earlier this year, Growing Talent was revised to make clear benefits for both the employer and prospective employee. Below are the highlights for each:
We have some confirmed speakers already for the event on 16 January 2023 including:
David – senior group manager for London and Essex at DWP. David has been instrumental for years in supporting the flexibilities needed for Growing Talent to be a success within JobCentre Plus and spread the word amongst his large, diverse, geographically spread team.
Jamie & Pedro – known to Growing Talent as the ‘dream team’. Supporting and cheerleading Growing Talent since the beginning, they have put their heart and integrity into guiding everyone they’ve met on Growing Talent over the years into some awesome careers. Not easy to do when you have a booming successful recruitment branch to run as they do with Pertemps and Red Personnel in London. They will be sharing why they do this from an employers viewpoint.
Ella from MasterFix Properties will be speaking from a dual view. Earlier this year, Ella was selected to join Growing Talent by Paul, Head of Talent at MasterFix who was looking for a Talent Co-Ordinator to join his team. After successfully completely Growing Talent, Ella returned with Paul to the next programme to select more talent to join the London team.
The line-up of this unique event will of course grow over the coming weeks.
A schedule will be published of when Growing Talent will run in 2023 giving time to employers, JobCentre Plus and the charities we work with to prepare.
If you are a London based employer with permanent roles to fill in 2023 and want to recruit a more diverse way, why not get in touch to find out more?
Friday 17 June was a balmy, sunny and sticky day in London. Temperatures were high so was the positive energy in this room as our Employer Speed Dating session got underway.
This is the first selection stage of Growing Talent which removes the potential for assumptions to be made by removing cvs and formal interviews. This enables the real person to be seen rather than any ‘labels’ they may have.
For employers, it enables a collaborative, unique way to tap into a hidden talent pool bringing diversity, inclusion, commitment and belonging into their business – which can only be good, right?
Passionate employers driven to uncover diverse talent for their roles that they can grow and nurture to be empowered employees defied the heat of the trains to get to our venue at London Bridge. Let’s face it, they could have given their roles to traditional agencies – wouldn’t that be easier? Probably, but easier isn’t always best!
Some had taken part previously and knew the fun ahead. For some, it was a completely new experience! No cv? No formal interview? No Job Description? What a leap of faith they took to step out of their comfort zone to join us!
Equally impressive was the integrity and commitment of the fabulously talented, but currently unemployed applicants who arrived enthusiastic, keen to meet employers without the shackles of traditional recruitment but unsure what was going to happen and of course a little glowing from their journeys!
What gave me the biggest kick was seeing Ella and Kieran from previous Growing Talent programmes now employer side! How fabulous is that!
There’s always a little tweak to be done in the setting up of these events. As usual the amazing Julie from #Portico Welcome Team was on hand to help me! Of course, on the front desk welcoming everyone to the event was Alex – from a previous Growing Talent programme! #inspiring for the applicants.
Within minutes of entering the room to start the timed table changes – the chatter and laughter was rising as any nerves melted away.
Ricky & Sharon from #RestoreHarrowGreen seeking new talent for their diverse roles.
Lois #SwissPostSolutions & Lesley from the global financial services organisation that sponsors Growing Talent joining us to explore some potential NEBOSH H&S Executives. Both have been involved in Growing Talent from the start and of course gave tips and pointers to those they saw who didn’t quite know what to say at first.
Ella and Paul of Master-FixProperties looking for fabulous new talent to join their business. Ella of course could give some insight of the Growing Talent journey that lies ahead for those going forward.
Michael #ISS looking for new talent to join his team
Laura & Emma #OfficeConcierge joining us for the first time to look for those hidden gems of talent we have amongst our unemployed communities.
Soraya, Kieran and Rosie #SPS looking for a new team member. Like Ella, Kieran has been on the Growing Talent journey and knows what it’s like. Although when Kieran did it, Growing Talent was three months long not five weeks!
Rosie is part of Lois’s team at SPS. Together they have given opportunities to around 38 people through Growing Talent since the first programme in early 2014. Many are still there and in supervisory positions.
Always time for one more photo! – Anna – longstanding cheerleader from JobCentre Plus, Ella and Paul #MasterFix and Sharon #RestoreHarrowGreen. Over the years, Sharon has taken over 30 people into her business and watched them grow and develop.
This week sees the second selection stage take place with 1-2-1s – mainly virtual thanks to the rail strike! Nothing detracts Growing Talent – there is always a way!
Looking forward to meeting these fabulous employers this week are: Abbas, Alex, Dimitrios, Edward, Frank, Martin, Rosanna, Shari and Sharon.
Check back to find out how they get on.
Growing Talent is a collaborative way for employers and their unemployed communities to come together on a level playing field journey to permanent jobs. Find out more on the Growing Talent tab on this website or check out http://www.growing-talent.co.uk.
When they are dug up, diamonds look like insignificant dusty pieces of glass. Without the trained eye to see what amazing gems these can be polished into, their value can be missed. We aren’t just talking surface beauty here in the jewellery market but their unique strength in other industries including:
Mining – diamonds are used in deep surface drilling due to their toughness and heat resistence
Dentistry – diamond tipped tools are used by dentists for their endurance
High end speakers – diamond domes never wear out meaning the sound never deteriorates
Super computers – diamond’s heat resistance make them invaluable in this field where heat can be a problem
Construction – diamond embedded saws cut-up roadways more easily – harder to break and aren’t affected by friction heat
The same can be said when recruiting new talent. Unpolished gems are missed everyday because employers see the surface label not the gem underneath – a little like that dug-up diamond.
On Growing Talent, the polish is delivered in a unique bootcamp intensive week of orientation delivering life and workplace skills. Delivered during this week is the global I-act course – Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing accredited by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and designed for the workplace. Embracing critical awareness of emotional intelligence in all areas of life ensures by the time your selected ‘rough diamond’ arrives on your site, you have something unique and magical – your own diamond to polish.
We are launching a new campaign in January 2022. If you are looking for new talent with drive, commitment and the ‘edge’ why not try us out?
Thanks to Netflix, I watched this brilliant film over the weekend. I was struck by many things. Yes, it had all the emotions – happy, sad, courage, loyalty, generational parallel lives, hope, adversity, ignorance, acceptance, bullying and likely many more. Overall, it left a feeling of hope, that’s it’s ok to be your authentic self and life can be fun if we drop the judgements we give others – without even speaking with them.
I originally wrote this for my LinkedIn in page. Why? because the film is a place of work comprising actors, camera crew, runners etc as is the school central to the film’s theme. Without the Emotional Intelligence to accept all work colleagues – direct reports, peers, line management, clients, supply chain etc in all sectors, as well as recognise and understand how our emotions, thoughts and behaviours impact others, businesses and their people will never thrive.
As the credits to the film rolled, we see the ‘real’ Jamie Campbell and his mum Margaret from County Durham who the film was based on. A three part documentary in 2011 featuring Jamie and his mum’s fight for him to be allowed to wear a dress to his secondary school prom.
For me, the most poignant feeling I got from the film was how little has changed. Ten years since the documentary on Jamie’s fight to be authentic yet we don’t seem any further forward. In the film, Jamie’s guide to becoming a drag queen is Hugo played by the brilliant Richard E Grant. Snapshots of Hugo’s life as a drag queen during the explosion of AIDS, had parallels with Jamie’s fight and illuminated the lack of acceptance today.
With training in how our behaviours impact ourselves and those around us, change is possible – but only if we want it.
Final thoughts – the film ended with a real shift in change of attitudes by many. I wonder how much more businesses would grow if they looked at the behaviours and impact of all within…..
19 July saw the start of the first Growing Talent hybrid for ten fantastically talented, currently unemployed people keen to work.
Selected by one of the ‘Big 4’ organisations for permanent roles in their growing virtual business support teams, they commenced step one – the orientation and holistic week – virtual of course!
So what did we cover over this week?
Monday – communication – a vital area to get right in all areas of our lives – no matter what our social status is nor our seniority in the workplace. But how much time do we put into making sure we get this right? Have you considered the following?
Speaking – what is the aim of the conversation? what content will you cover? where and how are you going to hold this conversation? what are the possible outcomes of this conversation? have you considered your tone, clarity, volume and pace?
Listening – do you automatically listen without judgement? do you ensure there will be no interruptions nor distractions? Do you listen with empathy or sympathy – do you know the difference?
Reflect back – paraphrasing is essential to ensure you have understood what you have heard – get the evidence, don’t just assume.
Body Language – did you know non verbal cues make up the biggest part of communication?
What method is appropriate for the conversation you are going to have?
What types of conflict might you encounter?
What’s your conflict style? accommodating, avoidance, collaboration, competitive, compromise
You statements – also known as the communication destroyer. Do you know why?
There is more to communication than most think!
Tuesday – invest in yourself. Critical – not selfish. Airline safety talks ‘state put the oxygen mask on you BEFORE helping others’ That makes sense, so why not scheduling in some self care windows throughout the day? This section covered:
Stop avoiding fear
Mantra and personal values
Overcoming negative thoughts
Control your brain – stop letting it control you
Self care toolkit
Dealing with imposter syndrome
Nurture your soul
Wednesday – nurturing your body – a car only runs on the right fuel. So does your body. Fuel it mindfully!
Food fads – the power of marketing vs facts
Superfoods – really
Understanding sugar – in all it’s forms
Social media – good, bad and ugly
Thursday – Money talks! Sharing basic financial tips together. 3 little bottles – waste and recycling, why is it so important. Moving on. Encompassing…..
How to increase savings
Ways to increase income
Considering credit cards, debit cards and cash
How to apply for new roles uniquely
Friday – I-act – Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing
How to look after yourself and those around you. This accredited course delivers a solid understanding of what mental health and wellbeing is, over 50 tools for self care and evaluation, robust evidence reporting – amongst a whole lot more.
So what did the fabulous 10 participants feel about the week? Below are some of the feedback – anonymous in line with GDPR:
“The content was exciting and engaging – which surprised me. I was expecting it to be a bit boring because it’s delivered by Zoom”
“The journey book which accompanied the week was clear and helped me understand the course. I can refer to it ongoing.”
“This week was so worthwhile – it’s taught me how to be more professional”
“I’ve been implementing things I learned in my personal life such as delaying my response in conversations until I understand what’s been said. It’s easy to misunderstand people if you jump in too soon.”
“The contents of the week were fantastic, very informative and engaging with loads of tools to assist me going forward”
The accompanying book was significantly relevant”
“I found everything insightful and enlightening. There were a lot of topics. I especially liked mental health and how to engage with someone who might be struggling. I feel I can now demonstrate a lot more empathy. I also really enjoyed finance considering how much I wasn’t taught much about the topic at school.”
“I’m glad to have the accompanying book as I can go back and refresh my knowledge anytime.
“This is probably the best training course I have every attended. T/he contents cover life inside and outside work”
“The book will be extremely useful going forward. On the course it enabled everyone to read at their own pace.”
What were the thoughts on the trainer?
“I loved how Jane had everyone engaged and included in all of the topic areas. She allowed us to digress within reason, which helped explore the topic further but she was also able to control anything that was not relevant to our learning.”
“Jane’s style was inclusive, warm and welcoming. Everything was clear.”
“Jane is very interactive and gives off a very positive vibe. I really felt like my opinion was relevant when she asked questions and she’s always very impartial so we didn’t feel like we were being judged. It was a pleasure doing my training with her”
“Jane’s compassionate and a very good listener”
“”Jane’s style was nice and precise, she knows what she is talking about and is a confident lady who taught us in a respectful professional manner.”
For me, the week was a mutually positive experienced. When we see each other as humans, we can learn so much together. Essential for work and life – don’t you agree?
I firmly believe there have been many positives to the global pandemic as well as the many well known negatives.
The world has learned a lot from each other sharing knowledge, information, research as well as stats and their process of handling infection rates. This collaboration has produced two vaccines cleared for rollout as well as India’s home produced vaccine about to be rolled out in India.
Whilst there is still a long way to go until the pandemic is managed via immunisation, I wonder if Governments will learn from the collaboration to date and continue with this going forward. Think of the positive changes that could be made.
Watching the Focus item on French 24 tv this morning, I wondered if the changes Italy is going through is something we can learn from in the UK on ‘levelling up’ areas of deprivation and past industries such as our mining towns, coastal resorts, previous manufacturing areas and so on.
Sicily experienced decades of young people leaving to work in the more prosperous North leaving. behind a growing older population and economic degeneration.
Focus explained the pandemic saw many younger people who had migrated to the North for work, returned to their parental homes in the South at the start of the pandemic. Working from co-working hubs socially distanced with fast fibre internet connection, they can work as well as if they were in their office in the North.
What they’ve noticed is the economic regeneration locally. Municipalities are rolling out fibre optic networks in their best locations to entice this positive change to become permanent. One featured a ceramic museum which now has the dual purpose of being a co-working space with fast internet and great views across to the Aeolin Islands. The quality of life for these young people has increased, there is no ‘brain drain’, older generations have their families around them and local businesses are experiencing regeneration.
The North of Italy will continue as a buoyant business hub with offices thriving after the pandemic is over. But they are aware the benefits presented by the pandemic will be permanent – a true ‘levelling-up’ of the country.
The UK has spent a lot of money because of the pandemic. Surely it’s vital to spend a little more to invest in fast internet across the UK to not only enable people to work anywhere, if their job supports remote working, but also ensure every child has access to technology to enable them to develop their careers of the future.
We have seen pockets of the UK experience decades of deprivation as businesses/industries have closed with nothing replacing them. The below picture is typical of a lot of towns left behind when businesses/industries closed or moved. We see many high streets have lost their vibes as big chains moved in and now those big chains are failing. Many high streets over the decades has lost their independent stores to large chains, pubs and betting shops.
Isn’t this an ideal time to turn the tide?
What could these communities look like with the right investment?
Listening to the radio this morning, the above question jumped into my head. I have my solution at the end of this post. What would be your thoughts?
Time for us all to have an uncomfortable conversation maybe?
The radio feature was on free school meals and the excellent spotlight the footballer Marcus Rashford has shone on this.
Children going hungry is shamefully not a new problem for the UK. Following the end of WWII, free school meals were introduced to ensure no child went hungry. Bearing in mind this was a time when food additives, were a lot less intensive than they are now. Basic, nutritional food that ensured healthy growth for all children in the UK was the norm.
Over the following years, we seemed to lose this ‘collective’ thinking that we are all responsible for the health of the next generation.
I well remember the endeavours of chef Jamie Oliver from 2004 to address putting ‘nutrition’ back into school dinners cost effectively. This would ensure concentration in lessons resulting ultimately in social mobility. Education on an empty stomach is totally non-productive and a complete waste of money. Children can’t concentrate with their stomachs rumbling. As adults, we know when we’re hungry we can think of nothing else. Why would we think it’s different for children?
The radio feature this morning spoke about Jamie’s work and the fact two of his chefs are working in Schools in Greenwich to help feed children nutritionally during school holidays.
Marcus has re-foccused the spotlight back on the need to feed vulnerable children during school holidays as parents struggle through coronavirus.
Many parents will feed their children fast foods because they are cheap. Quantity is better than quality thinking. We know fresh food doesn’t have to be expensive. It does take effort to buy and prepare especially when trying to hold down a number of poorly paid jobs to provide a secure home.
A few of ideas spring to my mind:
Tax cheap, fast food so it becomes a ‘treat’ and heavily discount fresh foods so they become the norm.
I know from experience many families won’t apply for help even when they are entitled. Pride gets in the way. Radical thought here – provide free school meals for every child so not one child is ‘singled’ out as being ‘poor’. From 5-18. Schools become community hubs. Open through school holidays. This would create:
a. Employment throughout the UK
b. Community cohesion
c. Brain power amongst all our children to take advantage of education, realise their dreams, become the innovators of tomorrow, feeding our businesses making the UK a vibrant country of integrity for all.
Of course there would be a huge cost for this. But, what is the cost of not doing it?
As a business owner, I’d be in favour of increased taxes if they were going to this worthwhile cause. I wonder if very wealthy people, would be willing to make annual donations to this cause and write this off against their taxes? Some people earn telephone number salaries and are reluctant to pay HMRC. No one likes paying taxes. But if part of their taxes went to a specific cause like this, would their attitude change if they could see the good they are doing?
A minority of the UK are living in a bubble where they have so much money they will never be able to spend it. Maybe social taxation could be the answer.
Maybe it’s time to do something radical and something different.
Have you heard the name David Richards? Went to Silicon Valley to learn the IT trade, set up a college course for young people to get into IT in Sheffield, UK and headquartered his IT company WANdisco in both Sheffield and California… me neither. Why?
Why hasn’t the media picked up on this insightful business acumen from David before? Why has he not been used as a positive role model for young people living in areas where they can’t see a way to progress?
Setting up businesses in areas where there is deprivation means you have an untapped talent base locally who would be committed with the investment of training leading to genuine jobs they can build their futures on.
Check out David on Wikipedia and copied and pasted feature below shown on BBC News website this morning.. Imagine if every area of every country had insightful employers like David? The opportunities for true social mobility are endless. What do you think?
Social mobility: ‘When we set up a tech firm in Sheffield people laughed’
By Ross HawkinsPolitical correspondent, BBC Radio 4 Today
David Richards was mocked when he chose Sheffield as the European headquarters for his computer firm.
He says that explains a lot about the lack of social mobility in the UK.
“Most of my friends in London thought it was some kind of staged joke,” he says.
Raised in what he calls a “lower middle class” home, David emigrated from Sheffield to Silicon Valley in the US aged 23 to work in IT.
The company he went on to found, Wandisco, is now worth £400m and employs 300 people.
When he wanted to bring the firm home, he chose Sheffield, where he sponsors a course at Sheffield College, which trains students for careers in computing.
But as a new report is published showing sharp differences in life chances for less well-off children around England, he says private companies must shoulder some of the blame.
“The private sector in particular needs to recognise you can’t just create companies solely in London,” he says. “You just cannot do that.”
The way firms cluster in the South East might explain part of the problem – but the Social Mobility Commission says it is complicated. Life chances for many in the south are poor too.
Children from less well-off families are likely to end up in low-paid jobs no matter how well they do at school in some parts of England, its report says.
Those in the areas where social mobility is easiest earn twice as much as those where it was most difficult.
The commission says persistent poverty means some families risk being “locked into disadvantage” for generations. It is demanding the government does more to boost social mobility.
Children who went on to the lowest salaries were raised in places that were typically more deprived, had fewer good jobs and fewer outstanding schools, according to its report.
Much of this is obvious to less well-off young people living in Sheffield.
“In my school, teachers didn’t really motivate you. Their way of motivating was kind of like: ‘You’re not going to pass’,” says 17-year-old student Jamanuel.
16-year-old Jasmine adds: “My school did not have work experience, so if I got to look for a job now, I have no idea what I’m doing… We didn’t have that support at school, so I do think the city is divided.”
The father of one of Sheffield College’s current star students stacks shelves in a supermarket for a living, David Richards says, but builds computers in his spare time.
“Opportunity is not spread evenly in the UK,” he says.
“If he was living in Silicon Valley… he’d be working at one of the big tech companies.”
The Social Mobility Commission report – drawn up with the Institute for Fiscal Studies – compares how much people who received free school meals as children earned at the age of 28 in different parts of England.
Their median wages in the best performing areas were more than £20,000. In the poorest performing, that figure was less than £10,000.
A government spokesperson said: “Now more than ever, our focus is on levelling up the opportunities available to every young person in this country and we will do everything possible to make sure no-one is left behind as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”
According to the commission’s report, life chances were best for disadvantaged children in places including East Hertfordshire and Wokingham in Berkshire.
Bradford and Hartlepool were among the worst performing towns. So too were West Devon, and the Chilterns.
Researchers only examined the earnings of men, the commission says, because data for female earnings would not have been comparable.