Spreading the word of Growing Talent….

Yesterday I was invited to present the benefits of Growing Talent to Inam’s teams at JobCentre Plus covering Wandsworth and Putney.

Sharing the unique aspects of this established programme with work coaches enthused to learn and share with their customers looking for a different way to get into work was empowering.

We all carry labels in life. Some we covet – employed, home owner, holiday maker, car owner – but others are thrust on us: unemployed, single parent, homeless, care system leaver, domestic abuse survivor. 

These labels are heavy to bear, especially when we can have more than one label to carry at a time.

Overtime, we can feel more and more invisible as our confidence diminishes.

It can be like being in a deep dark pit with no ladder to start climbing out. Growing Talent is that ladder.

Together confidence and self-empowerment starts to grow, then flourishes throughout the journey until people have the self-belief and tools to take control of their lives back, make decisions and fly! Growing their job into a career is seamless opening up lifelong opportunities.

Growing the collaboration of Growing Talent with new stakeholders is exciting.

The classic Four Seasons said it best – “Oh what a night….”

Monday night saw the relaunch of Growing Talent at the London HQ of our host and sponsor PwC.

With over 90 people present the pre-event networking was a hub of energetic networking.  Interspersed with ‘OMG it’s been so long’ as ex-Growing Talent Associates over the years met-up for the first time since their journey began.

In addition to these awesome people, guests included members of JobCentrePlus, senior management of DWP, community organisations including SLAM, Southwark Care Leavers and Breyer Foundation as well as employers – veterans of Growing Talent and those new to the collaboration – looking to find out more.

The co-ordinator of Growing Talent kicked off proceedings explaining what Growing Talent was and when it started, why, in their view, it is as important today as when it started, the social value it has delivered and the benefits to all taking part.

We were incredibly lucky to have Ian Elliott, Chief People Officer at PwC join us to share why social mobility programmes like Growing Talent are so important to the Firm, why they support these initiatives and how important it is for businesses to engage with their local communities to gain innovative talent to grow effectively.

Following Ian, David senior manager from DWP, a long-time staunch supporter of Growing Talent, shared why they support Growing Talent when it is not a Government programme.

Following David, were the stars of the event – ex-Growing Talent Associates  Charlie-Ray and Rehana – sharing their experience, where they were at the start of their journey and where they are now. 

From a starting point of no confidence nor direction at the start of his journey on Growing Talent, Charlie flourished and won promotion to his current position as Senior Welcome Host with Portico leading a team of 30 direct reports!

He’s taken ownership for a lot of diverse projects nationally, including a secondment for a number of weeks to help mobilise a new regional office ensuring new staff feel they belong and have a strong sense of connection.  This secondment was meant to be a one day trip!

Rehana was next to share her roller coaster journey on Growing Talent.  Working with Portico for a few years as Welcome Host following completion before returning to full-time education to study to be a Counsellor – a long held passion.  

But how to fund such an intensive course? 

Rehana started her own craft business ‘Sealed with a Stitch’ selling crochet items within the UK and  internationally – ideal for corporate gifts, unique birthday presents or to mark a special event.  

Easter Bunny example of Rehana’s work during Covid!

Rehana juggles this business with her position as a Counsellor supporting vulnerable people with Headstrong.

Charlie and Rehana both shared the power of what saying ‘yes’ to someone can have.  

Neither of them would have been recruited by their employers in a traditional recruitment process – but look at the awesome talent that would have been missed!

Allen, Head of Information Management Services at PwC as well as lead for Growing Talent at PwC, was last to speak and share his personal experience of supporting Growing Talent over the last nine years, from holding roundtable discussions on basic finance considerations to being a judge on our previous social enterprise challenges.

It was powerful to listen to Allen share his thoughts of meeting the Growing Talent Associates at the start of their journey and see the empowering transformation they underwent.  He still sees many working in the PwC offices continuing to grow every day.

It was fantastic catching up with some of the ex-Growing Talent Associates and learning of where they are now…..

Chloe and Sophia joined Growing Talent virtually during Covid in August 2021.  

Several promotions later for each of them, they are still working for PwC and ‘so happy’ – their words.

Sophia is now Team Leader and PwC Support Specialist coaching and developing many team members into other areas of PwC’s business. Sophia shared she can now make ‘grown-up’ decisions on investments and pensions.

Chloe is now an Executive Assistant organising and supporting her managers delivering projects.

In addition to clearly loving their careers, both shared how making their children proud of them was a powerful realisation.  

L-R – Stephan, Miyuki from ISS, Kieron, Bernie of Swiss Post Solutions, Anna – JobCentre Plus lead who has taken countless early morning calls to sort out any issues participants were experiencing over the years, Charlie-Ray of Portico, Navin and Jamie of Swiss Post Solutions with Chloe & Sophia – PwC.

The ripple effect of the positive impact on those around the Growing Talent Associates is clear.  One example, Navin shared the huge recognition his dad, Nalin, received from his employer recently (met on Growing Talent in 2019). Nalin has won so many testimonials from guests and colleagues over the years, the hotel recognised this commitment by awarding him a visit to New York taking his wife and Navin along for some shopping and sightseeing!  How great is that?

Of course, I had to get in the photos too!!!!

The post event networking went on longer than anticipated with wonderful bitesize canapes and drinks.  Thanks to the team at Baxter Storey especially the particularly tasty beetroot bites! 

Employers were buzzing about what roles they could ring-fence to take part in  the next programme and community groups were thinking of the awesome clients they could refer.

It was certainly a night to remember!

The Growing Talent story continues…….

Let’s recap the benefits so you can decide to get involved:

Potential applicants

  • No cvs nor job descriptions = no assumptions.  
  • Mentored to grow into a permanent role which you can turn into a career
  • Empowering orientation and holistic week which includes a qualification in positive mental health before going on the employers site
  • Retain your benefits, have all fares paid and get paid by the employer during the mutual ‘test drive period’
  • Be confident the role, employer and team is right for you
  • Start to believe in the talent you have within you

Check out  https://www.growing-talent.co.uk/applicants/ information session will be held on 6 February 2023. Contact me for details before this date.

Employers

  • No recruitment fee
  • Assigned Growing Talent mentor
  • Cost free robust pre-onboarding process aiding retention
  • Differentiator with competitors in commercial bids
  • Fish from an innovative, diverse talent pool to grow some awesome new talent
  • Confidence the match is right before making a permanent hire

If you are an employer with vacancies to fill in London, why not recruit a different way?  Contact me for more information or see https://www.growing-talent.co.uk/employers/

What are you waiting for?  Experience the power of saying yes!

A big thank you to all organisations including Pertemps, MasterFix Properties, Swiss Post Solutions, ISS@PwC and Aviva, ISS UK & Ireland, Office Concierge, Honeywell, Portico, Baxter Story, senior management from PwC, ex-Growing Talent Associates, members of DWP and JobCentre Plus, community groups including SLAM, Breyer Foundation and Southwark Care Leavers who gave up their personal time to attend.

A very special thank you to Adrienne Simpson who juggled her ‘day job’ as Allen’s Executive Assistant with organising the whole event start to finish – Ads – you are a superstar!

Thank you all!

What an awesome line-up!

Our Growing Talent event on Monday 16 January 2023 in London has some awesome confirmed speakers.

Some senior management from our global corporate sponsors – including a Partner from the Exec Board! A senior, regional manager from Department of Work and Pensions, an energetic double act from one of our staunch employers who have been with us from the start nine years ago and two people who have been on the Growing Talent journey themselves.

Rehana has built her own successful online craft business providing unique crocheted gifts as well as becoming a qualified Counsellor and Charlie-Ray oozes positivity to all around him – team, guests, management as Senior Welcome Host in a global corporate.

Both know the life-long power Growing Talent delivers. It really does make participants see their talent within, step into the light and shine knowing they have control of their lives and the opportunities ahead of them are truly limitless!

Oh what a fantastic night it will be!

Collaboration delivers results….. do you agree?

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!

Time to make the invisible, visible…..

An awesome conversation with Carolyn and Linzi of #MilitaryCoworkingNetwork to plan out a schedule for implementing Military Reboot.

Military Co-Working Network work with serving Armed Forces’ spouses and partners to empower them to follow their own path.

The workshops we will deliver and the accredited I-act Managing and Promoting Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing along with the robust manuals for onward learning, will deliver the tools and knowledge for the veil of invisibility to be removed enabling them to shine as awesome, talented, inspiring individuals themselves.

Full details will soon be seen on the Military Reboot page on this website shortly.

Information session will be held for the Military Co-working Network audience on 28 November 2022 with the launch of the first weeklong Military Reboot taking place 16-20 January 2023.

Who will shine?

Some awesome, currently unemployed, talent in London will meet some inspired employers looking to add new talent and innovation to their teams at Growing Talent’s 31st 1st stage selection process we like to call “Employers Speed Dating session”.

We do things differently! No cvs, no job descriptions no assumptions.

Creating a level playing field enables employers to see the hidden talent and potential often unseen in a formal recruitment process.

By partnering with JobCentre Plus and community organisations – this time, Southwark Care Leavers – we can really make a difference in enabling those in need of an empowering journey into employment, to shine and show their true potential.

How will they get on?

Check back to see next week!

Haajarah did it!……….

After an amazing journey Haajarah has completed Growing Talent 30 and starts her journey as a permanent employee with Pertemps today.

Her willingness to learn, coupled with her passion to help her peers quickly saw her build strong links with the team – as can be seen from the feature image.

Pertemps is a recruitment business which requires a lot of legal compliance. A potential minefield which demands strong attention to detail.

Haajarah opened her mind to learn this new area and is growing everyday.

The power of self empowerment, belief and belonging, coupled with nurturing support from Growing Talent and the employer, in this case Pertemps, and of course the encouragement of JobCentre Plus truly delivers strong results.

Haajarah is now on a journey to build her new career and we known she will be awesome

Congratulations Haajarah – your tenacity and integrity has paid off – keep going!

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Control what you can!

Unusually the office was pretty oppressive. The blinds and curtains had been drawn to reduce the pressure on the air con system in the current heatwave.

Mindful of the fact we can only control ourselves, we decided to hold our finance workshop outside in the shade!

Of course we followed this up with a wellbeing window of sketching a piece of the London skyline!

After a week of full-on learning and qualification in Managing Positive Mental Health and Wellbeing, Luiz, Manny and Haajarah have a free day today to relax and reflect before going to their respective employer sites for the in-role training section of Growing Talent.

Haarajah joins Pedro and the team at Pertemps in Holborn

Luiz joins Aiste and the team at Portico across their London sites

Manny joins Michael and his team at ISS Facilities Services in London

We wish them all a fabulous time of growth and connection ahead.

Growing Talent – Employers’ Speed Dating!

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.