“Thousands of jobs & no one to fill them” – can that really be true?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57349802  This features a report by KPMG on the situation UK PLC finds itself in: “thousands of job vacancies but no people to fill them” How can that be so?

In other reports from @BBC we know there are 1.7m unemployed and over 4m on furlough who may not have jobs to return to when furlough finally ends.

There seems a huge disconnect.

From the people I’ve spoken to over the past fourteen months I think there’s an elephant in the room we are not addressing.  Fear.  

Fear of stepping outside their door.

Fear of leaving their family.

Fear of stepping onto public transport.

Fear of walking into a new environment.

Fear of getting to learn a new role.

Fear of a new routine

Fear of not being respected by colleagues

Fear of not ‘gelling’ with the team/management

Fear of losing this new job

Fear of failing

There is an expectation employers will address this fear. Those integrating the new ISO45003 guidelines will go a long way to achieving this. Using Growing Talent to gain new talent will see them go even further in achieving the goal of sustainable new talent who have grown into the available role through the methods taught on Growing Talent to flourishing adding real value to everyone.

If you have a real job to fill, why not consider www.growing-talent.co.uk?  It’s completely free and not a Government funded programme. 

The global pandemic has seen businesses change the way they operate to get the results they want. 

Isn’t now the time to change the way you recruit to reveal those hidden gems of talent you’ve potentially been missing?

#psychosocial #risks #business #leadership #talent #socialmobility #inclusion #diversity

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

Growing Talent!

Sounds simple doesn’t it.  A try before you buy for both the applicant and employer based on personality – no cvs, employment history etc.  With 116 success stories, we want more.


Amongst this 116 are people from diverse backgrounds – homeless, graduates, no education, solid employment history, no employment history, mental health issues etc.  This unique business funded initiative has seen diverse success studies.


There is a wide talent of unemployed people hungry to work and willing to learn.  Employers can’t see this talent in a short interview/assessment.  So we are spreading the work with a poster campaign.


Some things really aren’t too good to be true!  You just have to give it a go and see for yourself!


Although the cost table below shows HR Review’s breakdown of traditional recruitment costs from 2014 – it’s logical to believe these have risen over 3 years.  One solid fact the display below shows is Growing Talent remains completely free!



Check out http://www.growing-talent.co.uk and @Growing_Talent for more information.


Growing Talent – Keeps Growing!

A New Year sees the start of a new Growing Talent programme.  Now on the 8th programme having secured over 60 people into permanent full-time jobs!


So far 23 jobs have been pledged by various corporate employers and partners.  Wide ranging roles from Recruitment Consultants, to Receptionists, Administration Clerk, Security Vetting Supervisor, Industrial Cleaning Technicians, Hospitality/Food Services Assistant, Business Moves Porters, Mini Bus Drivers and Forklift Truck Drivers to name a few.  With a salaries ranging up to £25Kpa.


Looking forward to the personal growth stories that will follow……………..


If you know anyone who could do with some mentoring into a permanent job – direct them to http://www.growing-talent.co.uk………………..

‘So rare – people were laughing and joking together…………….’

I love it when employers I work with are impressed and surprised by the work I do.  This week has been full-on diversity of tasks.

On Monday we had the initial assessments for the next round of Growing Talent – over 45 attendees met with managers from global and national employers.  The five tasks included:

  • Sell yourself on Google – 2 minute sales pitch
  • Follow a process – with a hidden trick!
  • Sell a famous person into a job
  • Debate a contentious issue giving a conclusion as a team
  • Truth & vision – pick one true attribute and one power you would like

Ice was broken.  I’m not sure who was more nervous at the start, the unemployed attendees or the employers!  Great to hear things like ‘that was fun’, ‘I’ve never witnessed anything like this at any assessment day – everyone laughing and joking together’.

I’ve always found it strange in the 20+ years I’ve spent in recruitment and we still cling to recruiting staff in the same way.  We never find out their personality, skills or potential until we’ve employed them.  Growing Talent enables each side to know the other before an employment offer is made delivering commitment and longevity.

Yesterday was spent delivering a 3 hour power house workshop to a national front of house hospitality organisation.  A room full of managers with their minds on their increasing in-trays back at the office.  The core ‘want’ in the room was to learn more about the delicate subject of mental health.  How to approach and support staff and when to escalate to HR/Occupational Health.

Stress levels almost increased for me when I discovered the screen had a HDMI cable not the old style pin connector.  Luckily an old connector was found.  Note to self – upgrade equipment!!!

The room was hot and small – not a great combination for training.  However, the time flew by.  Conversation flowed as did the interaction and contribution of all managers.

At the end of the session, I was really pleased to see all evaluations had been marked ‘good’ – the top score!  Some additional comments:

‘I thought the content was really good and I feel more confident on this issue.’

‘I learnt how to talk to staff about mental health in the workplace’

‘Really informative, definitely makes you look at things differently’.

‘Really good – loved the group exercises’

The end of my week will be focussed on Growing Talent with the Employers Selection on Friday.

So, what’s happened over the last month?

In short, a roller coaster of work and opportunities!

A new Growing Talent kicked off with 12 people.  Kaith had to leave due to personal issues.  Jess left due to family illness and Sinead left because she felt the agency work she was used to suited her better than fulltime work.

Now down to the fabulous nine!  At Harrow Green,five remained working in different roles – each with diverse tasks and responsibilities.  Maxine has ween working as a Moveware Assistant with Caroline her manager.  Moveware is a bespoke relocation software used extensively in the industry.  Maxine has already traveled to lots of locations from warehouses to army bases across the UK to ensure the logging and tracking of assets was accurate.  She had a visit from the software designer who was really impressed on how quickly she had picked it up.  Due to finish Growing Talent on 24 April, she has so impressed the team and management at Harrow Green they are employing her from 1 April.  ‘I’m so excited about starting my first full-time job’ said a very enthused Maxine!

cropped group

Maxine, front row left.

Also joining Harrow Green early on 27 March are:

Selwyn – ex bus driver of over 20 years! – logistics driver

Michael – graduate of game design – operations support

Joshua – graduate sports science – Multi-Skilled Ops

Daoud – Multi Skilled Ops

All were surprised they enjoyed their roles with Harrow Green on the Growing Talent programme so much.  None would have thought of the industry or roles as areas they would start their careers in.  It just shows the benefits of opening your mind and taking a chance!

It’s award entry time!  Growing Talent has ….. well grown….. in such as short time.  From nothing to having a robust course framework with three manuals, an audit trail, mentoring programme, website – produced brilliantly by Shine Design of Putney to social media presence, we thought it time to let the world know about it.  Well, London anyway!

An entry has been written and uploaded – such a good feeling hitting that ‘submit’ button! – to Race for Opportunity and CIPD’s Marketing Awards.  I’m now working on the ENEI (Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion) and possibly a BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management)  I’m so looking forward to May when all entry dates are closed!!!

Awards are great for exposure and networking.  The glass trophies are nice to have too!

In addition, I’m planning some more bespoke mental health workshops.  It’s empowering sharing knowledge with busy managers which will help them operate their teams more productively.  The best byproduct of this, for me, is the raising of awareness amongst the delegates themselves which I know will spread into their personal as well as work lives.

On top of designing these courses, I’ve also been lucky to network this week with some leading names in the world of business and charity.  This has led to some potentially interesting ‘seed’ ideas.  More over the next few months!

It often only needs a warm smile and ‘hello’ to start human interaction. Let’s do more of it.

You can read more about Growing Talent at http://www.growing-talent.co.uk

A triumph – Friday 6 February


The final day of the Orientation Week – 4th generation dawned with some trepidation from the Growing Talent Associates.  After preparation, planning, run through after run through the Social Enterprise Judging Panel had arrived!


Coffee and adrenaline flowed as did the nerves and bravado! at 10am the judges started to arrive – Jon Barnes – PwC, Simon Pratt – Portico, Greg Bramwell – Baxter Storey, Chloe Crudgington – Iron Mountain, Patti Sidhu – Pertemps and Jo Gadian – JCP.  Armed with score sheets, questions and feedback, the panel listed intently to the three ideas:


A Better Place was the first to go.  Sinead, Michael and Joshua delivered a sensitive presentation on rape and the social stigma for all involved.  Next up was Growing Hope a knit of ideas based on the individual interests of Maxine – allotments, Daoud – football coaching, Jessica – dance classes for all ages and abilities and Selwyn in charge of transport.  The third presentation by Kit, Jane, Courtney and Kaith was to develop a unified bike scheme in Ealing.


The panel had five minutes to decide the winning idea – but took over 20 – such was the calibre!  Finally A Better Place was announced as the overall winner and Jon presented silver cups to team members.


winners 2


Some judges comments taken from their score sheets include:  ‘engaged immediately- great presentation’, ‘professional and passionate’, ‘great team support for each other’.  To think the Growing Talent Associates had only known each other for a few short days!


Comments from the Associates themselves reflecting on Growing Talent so far:

‘Job seeking really knocks your confidence, so this is a great way to build people up again and make them feel worthy of work’

‘I am very happy to be on this programme, I feel very positive about the future’


‘Great scheme’

‘I hope it continues’

‘Thank you for this great opportunity’

‘This scheme is brilliant – it helps us gain confidence’

‘Fantastic organisation and inspiring Growing Talent should replace all JobCentres’

‘This scheme has helped me and I know it has helped others’

‘This is a fantastic experience.  It’s a really good way of gaining confidence and getting doors open for the future which we don’t usually believe can happen.’


Growing Talent – The Fourth Generation…………

January 23rd saw 67 applicants take part in initial screening and assessment tasks with employers to secure one of the places on Growing Talent.

With a final total of 20 jobs for drivers, administrators, catering and hospitality assistants to services solution operatives and recruitment resourcers across London and Basildon – the heat was on!

You would assume something like this would be intense and cause nerves.  The opposite was true!  Applicants had the time to let their true personalities shine through, have a laugh and get to know other people in the same unemployed position as them.

The employers leading the assessment had a tough job but eventually managed to select 47 to go forward to the final stage on 26 January.  Some employers were taking part for the first time.  Hesitant on how to select people for their roles in the knowledge that if the guys completed the job was theirs and they would join their companies.  Trying to find those ‘rough’ gems they thought would be hard.

Actually, it was easy.  There was so much talent in the room and when you see people having fun and being themselves – not putting on a mask for a short interview – matching is quite natural.

The biggest problem was some employers chose the same candidate!  What it is to be wanted – a great boost to the ego!  Some chose not to select alternative candidates so 12 went forward to the Orientation Week.

Today is Day 2.  Yesterday accomplished a lot.  All 12, from ages ranging from late teens up to the mid-fifties, worked well together breaking down some of those misconceptions we all have about people.  They had to do presentations on each other within 20 minutes of walking into the room – talk about pressure!

Three course lunch was amazing – and a welcome change from cheese sandwiches!!!

They entered the room pretty much as strangers, but left with the seeds of camaraderie growing!

What will today bring……

Getting Growing Talent out there…………………..

Shamefully, I’d always thought people working in media, advertising agencies etc were ‘lovvies’ who didn’t really work that hard.  How wrong was I!

I learnt so much in the second meeting with the media agency yesterday.  Publicizing something is a science!  The cost for paper adverts is astronomical.  Where do you start with social media – it’s like a black hole!

Thankfully Initiative know what they are doing.  Lots of ideas and options were buzzing around the room.  It’s so difficult to put Growing Talent into a box.  It needs to be highlighted to both employers and the unemployed.  Unfortunately, they rarely look in the same medium.  This is quite a task we’ve set Initiative.

The Christmas break will give time to think about different options.  Looking forward to the next meeting in January to see the three ideas – Bronze, Silver and Gold versions – from Initiative – what a great name for a media agency!

Growing Talent – Mark 4!

Dates are now confirmed for the next Growing Talent programme which sees 100% of completers go into permanent jobs!

We have secured jobs in London in hospitality, catering, office services, administration and operations/drivers – more are still coming in which is great news!

Working with agencies who support the unemployed we have the following dates confirmed:

23 January 2015 – Information Session & Compatibility Assessment for interested applicants

26 January 2015 – Employer Assessment & Selection – employers with jobs select those to take part

28 January 2015 – online police vetting

2 February – Orientation Week – workshops, team/individual challenges, seminars on body language, assertiveness, support analysis and devisement of a business idea all add to bond the guys and build their self-belief.

9 February – 24 April – 11 week, full time operational placement learning the job which will be theirs if they complete.  During this period a holistic stay in the country where personal finances, nutrition, fitness ad wellbeing is delivered.

A Certificate of Completion is awarded to all those who complete and an annual graduation ceremony sees the presentation of a bespoke trophy.

If you want to know more about the programme – check out the film links on the earlier post.

If you are interested in applying or know someone who is then drop an e-mail to jane@growing-talent.co.uk.

About me!

Following an established career in recruitment at all levels, I found myself faced with an almost impossible task of recruiting local residents of East London into corporate jobs in Canary Wharf.  It was 2005.  A year long partnership with a niche East London charity brought little success.  The core issue was the lack of employability skills then taught in schools and colleges.  Coupled with generational unemployment resulting in no positive role models, the basic requirements of coming to work everyday, not taking a sick day over a headache etc was missing.


I devised and delivered an employability programme which over the following eight years saw over 200 people go into work – including a grandmother who had never worked!  It won multiple awards including the first EEVA awards – beating 22 European countries and the Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Award in 2013.   I’ve worked with many charities, public sector organisations, ex-service charities and community groups.  Seeing someone flourish and go into work changing their lives, giving them real choice is amazing.


After 12 years with my last employer, I set-up my own consultancy and now work with private sector organisations on devising and delivering programmes which bring them closer to their communities adding real value to both.


My second passion after getting people into employment is Mental Health First Aid.  This is a global first aid programme for recognising and supporting mental health issues – now in 22 countries!  I’m proud to not only be a Mental Health First Aid Instructor who has trained close to 300 people over the last five years, but also a Non-Exec Director of MHFA England – supporting and driving forward the agenda – especially in the workplace.


I have designed and delivered bespoke mental health workshops to the private sector to meet their needs.

We have no health without good mental health!


Twitter – @EmploymentRegen


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