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!

Who is where in the Growing Talent 21 world?

  Jamilatou & Kelly with Ewen recruitment manager for ME Hotel Group.

 

 

Navin, Bernie & Amar are all joining MitieTDM at PwC.  Pictured alongside Lois – MitieTDM & Allen – PwC

 

Below – Charlie-Ray & Katrina with their managers at Portico – Julie & Gary

 

 

Above Heaven with Dan Recruitment Manager at Firmdale Hotels, Natasha, Robert & Drew between them going to Covent Garden Hotel & Haymarket.

 

Featured above are Adeyinka and his manager from ISS – Andy.  Stephen also joined Adeyinka at ISS.

 

Diverse talent and backgrounds amongst the guys with some brilliant stories of personal growth and development ahead.

Don’t stereotype – see the talent behind the label!

It’s risk and cost free. There is some amazing, diverse talent amongst the invisible unemployed because they don’t have the skills, qualifications or ‘blag’ to ‘sell’ themselves in a recruitment interview. Believe me – employers/recruiters are missing out using cvs and traditional interview methods.

Be honest – were you trained for your job before being hired? I know I wasn’t – but I do have lots of ‘blag’. It wasn’t always that way for me. Which is how the seed for #GrowingTalent was planted back in the early 90s. With more labels than you could shake a stick at, I was stereotyped. Employers saw my labels not my potential.

A mutual ‘test drive’ saw me secure a foot into a job – which I held for over 4 years – before securing a permanent job in recruitment which I grew into a career before starting my own business. Multiple awards for getting well over 600 people with ‘labels’ into work later, I’m still amazed at employers hesitancy to give the same opportunity to others they received themselves when they were starting out.

The feature photo shows the diverse talent of those on the 21st programme of Growing Talent. All have commitment, empathy and drive to succeed. They just need a chance to shine. Luckily these guys have that chance.

Let me ask you a question – Where would you be now if someone in your past hadn’t given you an opportunity to shine? Pay it back and make a difference. Permanent employment changes lives – literally and adds value to employers’ bottom line.

Amongst our Growing Talent Associates we have care leavers, single parents, those with strong employment history and those with little, those with learning, social and medical issues, some are degree educated, some have been managers some run their own businesses. Now they have the opportunity to secure permanent jobs by training and growing in those vacancies before being hired. Open to anyone over 18 – no upper age limit. Defined by their performance not label.

 

Employers for Growing Talent 21 include MitieTDM, Portico, ISS, Firmdale Hotels, ME Hotel Group

 

What to get involved?  Then get in touch!