Orientation Week – What Is it? What happens?

The Orientation Week is a series of workshops to boost confidence of those applicants selected by employers for a place on Growing Talent, delivering a permanent, full-time job on completion.  It’s carried out at a central London location prior to applicants going on site with their employers.

 

For the whole of 2019, we’ve carried out all speed dating events, orientation and holistic weeks are Etc Venues in Eastcheap.  Breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea is provided along with fresh fruit, tea/coffee/hot chocolate, herbal teas and smoothies/orange juice with breakfast.

 

From the start of the Growing Talent journey, all participants – known as Growing Talent Associates – feel invested in and start increasing their self-esteem.  Their #YesICan attitude increases massively.

 

During the Orientation Week we have visiting professionals to share communication, art therapy and workplace choices to increase knowledge.

 

Within 10 minutes of arriving for the start of the Orientation Week, Associates are tasked with their first challenge.  To draw a set number of images about milestones in their life and then present them.  Yes, public speaking in front of strangers!  It works every time to showcase just how strong Associates are.  They start believing in themselves, not the perception of their labels.

 

During this week, Jade from CCF (Customer Care First – an excellent training company Jade started) delivers her bespoke 2 hour workshop with the Associates sharing all the nuances of communication from body language, spatial awareness, tone, emphasis etc to the topics to avoid in effective communication.

 

Daniel going to Pertemps and Tequila going to Churchill Services discuss topics that are ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ to discuss with clients…..

 

Debbie and Juliet – both going to Park Plaza Hotel in Westminster, doing the same task as Daniel and Tequila above but addressee colleagues/managers….

 

Jade and the guys above discussing the importance of tongue twisters for loosening facial muscles making it easier to speak for longer.

 

Tequila and Juliet experiencing how important communication is.  Juliet is holding a picture of a pair of boots which she has to describe to Tequila who draws what she hears.  Laughter aside, it proves the point we need to ask questions and probe to make sure we have the right information to complete our tasks at work.  As Tequila said ‘I never asked if it was a pair!’

 

The Jade’s session ended with smiles all round in the knowledge the Associates have more knowhow in communication!

 

Lesley, Head of Health, Safety & Environment at PwC always delivers her excellent ‘Zest for Life’ workshop featuring the 3Rs – Refuel, Rejuvinate and Renewal.  Knowledge, information and tips for Associates to look after themselves on the Growing Talent journey and beyond!

 

 

Lesley introduces herself and shares her journey of how she got her current role which was unplanned and totally unexpected but ended up being something she loves.

 

Explaining how humans were not designed for the predominantly desk based jobs we do now, she asked the Associates to think of their roles and come up with suggestions of a body to do their tasks adequately.  As you can see the two heads/multiple arms in the drawing below look like something of a SciFi prototype!  However, if shows we must be vigilant in taking care of ourselves so our bodies do not suffer.

 

A key thing is our body bank balance!  Things such as coffee – too much is bad but if we follow each cup of coffee with a cup of water it balances out.

 

Lesley then shared tips on nutrition, saving money by making our own lunches, batch cooking and freezing as well as top tips on relaxation and finding what works for us.

 

She then set the task of each pair of Associates thinking of three questions for the opposing pair to answer based on her workshop.

 

Tequila & Daniel devising their questions…..

 

Debbie & Juliet devising their questions for Tequila and Daniel.  I’m glad to report all gave the right answers #payingattention

 

Smiles all round as Lesley left after sharing key knowledge…..

 

Emma from Unravelling Minds attends to deliver her Art Therapy workshop and join the Associates for lunch after.

 

 

Emma shares her journey from high powered/pressurised career in fashion to complete mental health breakdown.  Art was a particular feature in her recovery and she now shares her learning with others.  Previously involved with Balloons and the Brain and now Unravelling Minds, Emma runs a unique cafe.  A safe non-clinical environment for people to bake and talk together – CBT_Cafe (Cake Before Therapy – what’s not to like!). Check out the remaining dates and information on Emma’s journey below.

 

Whilst sharing her journey, Emma invites the Associates to select one of three challenges to see how art during their lunch breaks or at any quiet time calms the mind.

  1.     Heart full of favourite things
  2.     Graffiti newspaper
  3.     Illustrate your Growing Talent mantra
  4.     Start with a doodle and see where it takes you

The concentration and quiet in the room was amazing!

Daniel’s mantra with it’s hidden message uncovered

Debbie taking up the graffiti challenge!

Juliet focussing on her favourite things.

Tequila starting off with a doodle which soon filled the page!

Juliet also shared her steps of affirmation.

Time for a group shot before an interactive lunch together.

Various workshops with me continued throughout the week ending with the Social Enterprise Challenge.  Up for grabs was £50 cash.

 

The running challenge throughout the week is to devise and deliver a social enterprise to benefit a local community and vulnerable group living there.

 

Judges l-r seated are Anna – JobCentre Plus, Judith – Churchill Services, Pedro – Head Judge from Pertemps and Shennell – Growing Talent Ambassador who completed Growing Talent on the 5th programme!

Associates standing l-r are Juliet, Tequila, Debbie & Daniel.

First to present was Debbie delivering her Brighter Futures.  Based in Wandsworth it focussed on upskilling ex-offenders by teaching them skills to refurbish a venue given by Wandsworth Council.  These skills would enable them to apply for roles with the Council in maintenance as well as FM companies.  In return the ex-offenders would share their bad choices and consequences with excluded 10-13 year olds with the target of enabling them to make the right choices.  Professionals from law, social services, medical etc would attend to help with any issues the participants experienced.  A safe space to learn, grow and become more productive.

Next to present was Daniel with his Health Hotspot based in Orpington.  Daniel described the location and need for information and choices for better health.  Many people develop intolerances to certain food groups.  Learning from others with the same intolerance on recipes, adapting ingredients etc would be hugely beneficial and break down barriers.  Equally people making choices based on media/fashion such as ‘clean’ diet, ‘sugar free’ – often includes sugar under a different name!, ‘vegan’ – how to ensure you get enough protein and so on.  Learning together builds community spirit.

Juliet’s presentation ‘Brotherhood Marching Together’ targeting the stigma within the Afro Caribbean community towards prostrate cancer using colour, music, joy and information was delivered with passion based on Juliet’s own family experience of the disease.  ‘Afro Caribbean men don’t talk about such things’. Mindful of inclusivity Juliet wanted all men in the Brixton area where she lives to be included.  So men can support men regardless of their cultural background.  Using the 02 at Brixton for the end music extravaganza, the day would start at the Museum of Black History with cancer charity specialists in place to talk about the stigma.  Affected men and their families can ask questions in a non-clinical environment.  Moving to the square where a plethora of stalls for music, food, clothes would highlight all cultures in the area breaking down barriers.  All money raised from entry fees etc would go to research.  The event would build support structures for all concerned.

Finally, Tequila shared her vision of Take Action.  A unique idea to upskill low income parents in turning their houses into homes and also making them more employable with these new skills such as painting and decorating, tiling, plumbing and so on.  Tequila shared her view that children of low income families are often introverted and don’t have a voice.  Take Action would enable the children to design their bedrooms to be their ‘space’ and give them confidence in using their voice.  Supported by local colleges and organisations like B&Q the change delivered would be lifelong and really make a different.

The judges had a tough time whittling down these great ideas to just one winner.  Who was it????

Juliet collecting her £50 prize from head judge Pedro….

Ahead of lunch with the Associates, the judges shared their journey to the current roles along with their top tips for shining at work.

 

After completing their evaluations after lunch, the Associates left to relax over the weekend ahead of starting on their employer sites.

 

Check back to see how they get on…..

You know when you’ve done a good job….

When at the end of a coaching and mentoring week non-confident selected Growing Talent Associates are transformed into self-believing, confident, talented, can do people ready for the work place and beginning the journey to take control of their lives and you get a lovely card like this….

 

Isn’t this the best kind of appraisal?

 

 

Meet Growing Talent 16’s Head Judge

A long-time supporter of Growing Talent, Allen often gives-up his time to preside over the Growing Talent Social Enterprise Challenge.

 

These are ideas selected Growing Talent Associates devise and present to a panel of managers from their employer companies during their first week of Growing Talent – no pressure then!

 

At the end of each presentation, collective feedback is given before the Head judge delivers the verdict and prize.

 

The ideas have to benefit a local community, have a revenue stream and be easy to maintain.  The ideas presented in the past have always been innovative and well thought out.

 

I don’t doubt this will be the case on Friday 9 February! – check back to find out…….

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………………..

Yay………. Growing Talent is shortlisted!!!!!

Finalist_AWARD FOR INNOVATION IN RECRUITMENT

 

PwC I&P who back Growing Talent have been shortlisted by Personnel Today under their Innovation in Recruitment category.  This is a huge achievement considering the age of the programme which only began in Feb 2014.

 

As Architect of the programme it’s a privilege to work will all partners.  However, for me the biggest prize is getting someone into work.  Growing Talent has now got over 40 fabulous Growing Talent Associates (formerly known as unemployed)  into work including some great talent in their mid-fifties!

 

When I reflect back to what the partnership has achieved since Feb 2014, I’m amazed!  We now have a website – http://www.growing-talent.co.uk – designed by a brilliant niche organisation – Shine Design, a twitter @Growing_Talent and a linked in page.  Copyrighted manuals for the Orientation and Holistic week give great onward learning.  In addition strong relationships have been built with  JobCentre Plus – under the District Director for London and the Home Counties along with stalwart supporters – Portico, Harrow Green, Mitie, Iron Mountain, Aramark, Pertemps, Property Research Co, UpTownOil, Honeywell, Baxter Storey, Red Personnel, MHFAEngland and Wilson James.

 

It’s amazing what can be achieved through the power of working together and dogged determination!

 

Winners announced on 30 November.

100% Success for all Starters!

Team plus

Growing Talent 5 – the most successful group yet.  100% of all starters completed and went into work!  Seen here with some previous Growing Talent Associates who returned to encourage the guys.  Comfort from the pilot has been working successfully with Honeywell since completion, Caroline & James from Growing Talent 2 is still working with Iron Mountain.  Josh from Growing Talent 4 working with Harrow Green and Kavita from Growing Talent 4 still working with Aramark!  #PeoplePower!

 

 

For the first time in the short history of Growing Talent, all 11 who started the programme have completed and started their permanent jobs!  Despite a few early day wobbles from some, they rallied with support and encouragement to have the confidence to prove themselves, staying the course for the entire three months!

 

Jose secured his dream role in HR with Harrow Green after years of working in hospitality roles.

Shanika left retail behind and joined Harrow Green in their niche customer service team supporting all the business moves for their clients.

Jason, Bradley & Gavin all secured Porter roles at Harrow Green’s depots despite having little recent employment experience.

Alechenu joined Mitie Total Document Management in their rapid response team – part of the wider Service Solutions offering at one of their global client’s London sites.

Reece also joined Mitie Total Document Management in their Archiving division.  This team looks after all the Firm’s data – a huge responsibility!

Shennell & Alex both join Iron Mountain as Data/Project specialists after a long period of not really knowing what direction to so in.

Reese joins MHFAEngland as a Data Entry specialist

Camilla joins Portico in their Executive Reception team as an Executive Host.

 

You can find out more about their journeys at my other site – http://www.growing-talent.co.uk or at @Growing_Talent.

 

 

 

 

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