Deflated? Never at Growing Talent – ready for any challenge!

We all know the pleasure and the pain that Coronavirus has brought. Although we’ve all been in the same sea trying to get to the other side, we’re all in different boats.

It’s been a rollacoaster for everyone – maybe just to different degrees.

For those able to work from home, there’s maybe been the challenge that others in your family have been doing the same! Home schooling for those with children has been an added dimension – not all bad but not all good either!

Some of us have been forced to look at our own wellbeing. If we’re lucky enough to have gardens – they are likely re-designed and weed free! Some may have set some space aside for a veg plot having seen the advantages of growing your own – especially in a pandemic!

Some have taken the time to learn new skills – learn a new language, bricklaying or joined an online choir or logo class.

For some living in rooms without their own space or garden the initial lockdown is particularly tough.

Now we’re nearing the end of lockdown and the end of the furlough scheme which is seeing the unemployment figures rise exponentially. Graduates and those who have finished A levels are leaving full-time education. There has never been so much untapped talent in decades.

The poison chalice of unemployment quickly strips away self-worth and belief even in those previously highly confident with solid work histories. This needs addressing. It won’t work for everyone being put into a job without a programme of rebuilding their self-esteem – enter Growing Talent!

After six years collaboration with Job Centre Plus on Growing Talent, I was approached by two key cheerleaders of Growing Talent – also managers at JCP! – to run some programmes to address this self-esteem void along with knowledge for job searching to give those looking for work the edge wellbeing and so on.

Next week kicks off a week long programme for Jill – JCP manager at Bromley for some of her customers. Followed by two sessions the following week specifically aimed at Graduates. We’re really pleased Sophie and the team at Smart Works are joining us on these session to showcase their amazing offering.

In August a week long course is deliver for Rajen of Job Centre Plus in East London.

Meeting and exceeding the Government’s Kick Start programme our partnership will deliver empowerment to participants to sustainably move forward.

Ask any Growing Talent Associate or Graduate – we’re never deflated and always ready for any challenge!

Can’t wait to get started!Deflatd

The loo roll challenge…

This made me both smile and glow with pride.

 

Charlie-Ray was on Growing Talent in 2019.  With no experience in the corporate world and no previous exposure to Welcome Host duties.  Charlie-Ray embraced every opportunity outside his comfort zone, learning from his team, peers, management and all the other contractors on site at PwC alongside Charlie-Ray’s employer, Portico.

 

He is now well respected by all levels of management, including senior client management.

 

Accepting opportunities, trying your best whilst remaining yourself delivers potent results.

 

Well done Charlie-Ray – I look forward to watching you soar in your career.

 

 

Annarita’s thoughts on Growing Talent

It’s been an intense journey for Annarita. Following a difficult period of unemployment and various issues in her personal life, her self-esteem and joie de vie and plummeted whilst her anxiety had risen.

 

With her streak of courage and bravery, Annarita accepted the provisional role with PwC in their secretarial team even though it was completely outside her usual work area.  She embraced every challenge thrown at her along the way.  As you can see in the feature photo with head judge, Allen from PwC, Annarita’s idea won the Social Enterprise challenge.

 

So now she’s graduated and gone into work with PwC – what are her thoughts on the journey she’s been on?

 

‘If I could go back to the beginning, I’d still do Growing Talent.  It’s given me the chance to get a step in the door and get back on the career ladder.  I’ve learned it’s about the journey, jot the destination. Stepping stones lead to a giant rock of your dreams.  Growing Talent helps people move forward with their lives’.

 

What is Annarita’s top tip to complete Growing Talent for those following her?

 

‘Try and take in all the information given as you may feel like you don’t need it right now but at some point down the line you’ll realise you do”

 

Any motivational thoughts Annarita?

 

“Keep going! Every step counts towards your personal growth whether it’s emotionally, financially or physically, take notice, be aware and step back – look at what you’ve achieved as each day passes.  One day you may find you’ve obtained all the things you have always dreamt about”

 

So there you have it from one that knows.

Growing Talent 25 has completed…… bring on GT26!

In January, we started off with 40 enthused, unemployed people applying for Growing Talent.  Following the Employer Speed Dating held mid-January, 15 were selected by employers for a 1-2-1 second stage meeting.  Offers were made, some rejected so we commenced Growing Talent 25 with three participants from diverse backgrounds who all shared one thing in common – they wanted to work!

 

Michelle & Tara from PwC joined the session and selected Annarita , below, to join them!

This is a big departure for Annarita.  Following a background in textile design she is now part of PwC’s secretarial community.

 

Kate – a regular recruiter on Growing Talent – from Firmdale Hotels, selected Kerry to join their Haymarket hotel within the housekeeping team.  Kerry is loving the role and already got her eye on progression not to mention the staff perks!

 

Annarita & Kerry – trained first aiders in Mental Health during the holistic part of Growing Talent.

 

Lastly, Sergio and Lina from ISS selected Nazzarriey to join their waste and segregation team.  Naazzaariey – seen below with Kerry is getting used to the routine of working and planning things she can do with her wages….

 

 

We wish them well on their adventures ahead now they have a regular salary coming in…..

Highlights of their journey include:

Awaiting feedback on their excellent Social Enterprise presentation and more importantly the winner!

 

Emma from Unravelling Minds showing how art helps with wellbeing….

 

Lesley mid-flow delivering her 3Rs – techniques for staying healthy in the workplace.

 

This is one of the few times Growing Talent has experienced 100% who started completed and went into work!  Great outcome for all…

 

What does the road ahead hold for them? who knows – but that’s part of the excitement of life – right?

The 26th programme starts in March…. watch this space!

 

Employers’ Speed Dating – 21 January 2020!

Our first speed dating (first stage selection) for Growing Talent commences with a quick fire speed session which enables employers to identify those they wold like to meet for a more in-depth chat about their roles on their sites.

 

With no cvs nor formal interview to undergo, the atmosphere is relaxed and laughter quickly flows.

Andy from Winlight Recruitment chatting to some participants….

 

For employers Growing Talent is the only way to ‘test drive’ someone in their vacant role ensuring they fit the role, team, company BEFORE hiring.  Even more attractive is this doesn’t cost s penny.  Run and funded by business for business.

Always smiling! Pedro and Sharaz from Pertemps checking out the untapped talent out there….

 

Equally important is the applicant experience.  Growing Talent is only open to unemployed people over the age of 18 – no upper age limit – in London who have a strong will to work but need a little TLC.

 

 

Growing Talent enables unemployed people to shine and grow on their journey to employment.  With a provisional job upfront, they are aware of the end job.  As the employer trains them in that role during the programme, there are no surprises.

Kate from Firmdale Hotels returned to share the opportunities available……

 

If you are looking to get new talent in your business confidently and cost effectively or an unemployed and looking to get a role where you have the opportunity to prove yourself …… check out Growing Talent now.

Sergio & Lina from ISS – Sergio’s first time at speed dating!

 

What have you got to lose?  Why not check out Growing Talent 26 in March?

 

Social mobility in action delivering equality and diversity automatically.

The final countdown…..

So the final Growing Talent kick’s off tomorrow with the Orientation Week.  The 24th programme.  Over the five years Growing Talent has run it has seen 157 go into direct, permanent employment with a potential four more on the current programme – Daniel, Juliet, Debbie and Tequila.

 

Many employers have been involved from hotels to corporates, filling diverse roles from manual, hospitality to office, HR, administration etc.

 

It’s been a great journey so far and will hopefully continue into 2020 and beyond – funders willing of course!

 

We wish Daniel, Debbie, Juliet and Tequila a fab journey over the weeks ahead as their confidence, skills and ability grow to secure their permanent jobs.

 

Check back to see how they get on….

BBC London People – #GreaterLondoners ……..

Really proud to be nominated to @bbclondonpeople Instagram project #greaterlondoners.

 

Although the journalist got a few things wrong, including it was an unpaid week trial I did for the accountant not paid it made me reflect on what I have achieved.  Through the Real Apprentice and its successor Growing Talent, I’ve got over 600 people into permanent full-time jobs – literally changing their lives – as they tell me.  All with barriers.  All without the confidence to secure a job the traditional route.  One of these, Shennell, nominated me for this #greaterlonder project. #proud #humble

 

I drew on my experience years later when devising the Real Apprentice which run from 2004 to 2013 and won multiple awards including the best of Europe to Growing Talent – 2014-Present.

 

It’s amazing the difference we can make to others without realising the impact we make.  I’m guilty of not reflecting on what I do enough.  I believe most of us don’t reflect on our actions and affirm just how great we are!

 

Take time to nurture yourself.

Check out the feature below:  

Happy Reese!

I’ve had a decade plus link to MHFAEngland from it’s early begins of just a handful of staff to the present day.  Gillian, MHFAEngland’s Business Manager and I go back way before this time to the days of the Real Apprentice (an employment programme I ran from 2004-2013).

 

Back in 2015 Gillian and the team at MHFAEngland selected Reese to join them on Growing Talent (www.growing-talent.co.uk) with the potential of an end permanent job in administration with them.

 

Reese had minimal employment experience at the time and pretty low self-belief so it was a really scary time for him.  He flourished and secured the permanent job and has been there since.  It felt good knowing he was processing the certificates of following Growing Talent Associates who completed the MHFA Adult 2 day course as part of their Growing Talent journey.

 

Yesterday, Gillian and I met up for a long overdue catch-up and she told me she had something from Reese – the feature photo.  So great to see him looking happy and confident – four years on.

 

Anyone can change where they are in life through self-belief, determination and support.

 

Social Enterprise Challenge!

Challenge is the right word!  Faced with the prospect of having to devise and deliver a project to benefit a local community and have a revenue stream, really tests our workshops on ‘Fake it until you make it’!

 

Negative overthinking  gives way to confidence and ownership.  It’s a privilege to watch everyone learn together, nurture each other and step up to this challenge on the final day of the Orientation Week.

 

So, how did the Growing Talent Associates so?

Stallion Cycles by Calum, below who is joining Park Plaza Hotel at Westminster. Living in a small village, Calum had noticed how congested the single road in and out was – especially when on his driving lessons! Calum’s idea was based on the ‘Boris Bikes’ of central London but for those living out of London in semi rural areas or traffic hotspots.

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Pegasus devised by Brendon was set in the Brookhouse Road community centre where he lives. Addressing self esteem, personal belief using a mixture of sports and professional encouragement. Brendon is a little camera shy so no photos of his excellent presentation.

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Scripts by Romain, above based in part on his own experience discovering acting as a vehicle away from the wrong path and crime. Taking over a disused cinema, Romain had a number of strands to using art. Life skills would be taught to 5-11 year olds – kindness and respect of others. His core audience were 15-25 using all the potential career opportunities in a theatre for them to try and consider. In addition, rooms above the theatre would be rented out for studio space and similar. Romain joined Park Plaza Hotel at Westminster.

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Life Advice by James seen above focussed on working with high school students on mapping personality to potential industries for career consideration, he also covered mentoring, investing, general life skills and opened up the opportunity to parents as well. Using a mobile unit he could visit estates/schools easily. James joined Red Personnel.

Strictly Dancing Elderly by Miyuki seen below tackled fitness and isolation in the over 65s combining tea dances with social interaction, tea and of course cake! She based this in Lewisham where she lives and shared her story of isolation since her longterm friend found a partner leaving her alone. With a growing over 65s population , Miyuki’s idea was simple yet effective. Miyuki joined ISS at PwC More London

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Street View by Stephan is based in Forest Hill where he lives. An area which has missed out on investment and regeneration over the years, Stephan had noticed how there was a growing population of homeless people on the streets and also the burgeoning art community who had no platform to showcase their work. Street View married the two. A magazine featuring the artists’ work sold by the homeless delivered a solution to address these two important issues which would easily be replicated in other areas. Stephan joined ISS at More London.  Stephan presenting below.

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Steel Games was Jordan’s idea seen below. Having stumbled into playing the steel drums as a child, he ended up as part of an orchestra which entered into a competition. Jordan’s orchestra come 2nd and they performed on Junior Panorama. Based in Anerley with multiple recent stories of knife crime, Jordan believed his idea would give those at risk of being involved a different path to consider. On one floor, he would have gaming consoles and teach young people ways to use this technology safely as well as a selection of steel drums on the bottom floor. Encouraging all to try out this diverse instrument. Jordan joined ISS at PwC More London

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A.I. delivered by Stephen was based on using artificial intelligence to deliver administrative innovations to large organisations such as JCP, NHS etc. The idea being appointments are never missed as A.I. removes the use of human error. A unique interpretation of the Social Enterprise Challenge. Stephen joined ISS at PwC More London seen presenting below.

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Lastly Michael worked hard on his E-Library idea even though he was not attending the Social Enterprise Challenge as his employer Churchill Services had a large senior management meeting which Michael presented at instead- see below! Just as nerve-racking I suspect!  Michael clearly shone as two senior managers contacted me after this Churchill event to say how impressed they were!

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Judges l-r – Mariatu – ISS, Geoff – North London JCP, Patricia – Red Personnel, Jon – PwC and head judge, Judith – Club Quarters Hotel, Pedro – Pertemps & Anna – JCP South London and overall lead for Growing Talent at JobCentre Plus.

 

As you can see the judges above had a tough job deciding on the winner. After much deliberation the £50 cash prize was won by……

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Jon presenting a very surprised Miyuki with her £50 prize for her winning idea ‘Strictly Dancing Elderly’!  Very well deserved.

Every judge made a point of saying how good the ideas were, how doable and how socially aware they were.  Empowering for all Growing Talent Associates!

 

Challenging ourselves can be scary, but the sense of achievement in pushing ourselves that little bit further is so worth it.

 

If you are facing something daunting, don’t overthink it.  Fake it until you make it!  The benefits are amazing.  Just ask the Growing Talent 22 Associates!

 

 

 

Orientation Week – Growing Talent 22

The purpose of this week is to instil confidence and self-esteem prior to going onto their employer sites.  The workshops and challenges are designed to bring out the best of everyone so they can be the best version of themselves!

 

As an introduction, everyone, myself included, has to do key milestone of their life in pictures and present it!  The reason for this is to show everyone we can do more than we think we can and to understand the black times we go through do not define us.  We are all talented human beings.  Some of us just believe this more than others!

 

First external workshop is the 3Rs delivered by Lesley head of Health & Safety at PwC – seen below on Tuesday 18 July – day 2 of our Orientation.

 

Lesley 3 rs

A complete focus on individual wellbeing – mind, body and soul! Sharing her background and current role as Head of Health & Safety at PwC, Lesley delivered and interactive, informative workshop where everyone learnt something new.

Lesley shared tips and tools to enable all Growing Talent Associates to look after themselves on their journey to complete Growing Talent and of course continue once they have gone into work.

Thanks Lesley!

We did various challenges on workplace communications, conflict management, assertiveness, nerve management, relaxation techniques, assertiveness as well as ‘fake it until you make it’ – Dr Amy Cuddy – check her videos out on YouTube.

 

The next external presenter was Unravelling Minds with their Art Therapy workshop – you could hear a pin drop as the concentration and relaxation levels soared.  Delivered by Emma below who shared her journey of descent and recovery in mental health….

Emma starting

Emma stayed for lunch and chatted more with the Growing Talent Associates.

 

As communication is such a big part of human – let along work – life, Jade of Customer Care First delivered a two hour workshop on different techniques and strategies to be effective communicators….

 

Jade pening CCF

A lot of laughs as well as learning!

 

The thread of communication wove through the week with the ultimate challenge of devising and presenting a social enterprise idea to a panel of managers from the employers taking part.  But this is a story on it’s own!  Check out the later post for more……

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