ASK – what do you think?

So what do you think when you see ASK in capitals?

I wasn’t sure what I was thinking when I signed up to do a course looking at intervening in children thinking of suicide. This course is aimed at 4-15year olds interventions.

Sobering thought. Just take a minute to re-read that and let it sink in.

We have really young people who think death will solve their problems. How do we feel about that? What society have we created?

If this isn’t wake up call to speak opening about mental ill health – all ages, all cultures, all social class etc – I don’t know what is.

Learning ASK stands for Assessing risk of Suicide in Kids – sent a judder through my body. I’m used to assessing risk in adults but children as young as 5? Yet, this is an uncomfortable, necessary thought we need to carry with us. We need to be able to engage with children struggling and show them it’s ok to feel the way they do.

Some startling stats learned on the course:

In 2015 the UK published child suicide data for the first time. Bear in mind, coroners don’t like giving suicide as the cause of death in adults let along children. The UK recorded 200 deaths in this year alone. Research shows the highest risk age group is 10-14 experiencing suicidal thoughts, suicide planning and suicide behaviour.

The ASK course also shared 30% of children aged 5-14 tell someone about their suicide thoughts. Read that again – 5-14 year old. We must be more alert and open with our children. Encouraging children to feel valued and speak up about their feelings is vital.

We try to protect our children by sugar coating sadness ‘nanny has gone to heaven’ or ‘nanny has gone to a much better place’ or ‘nanny has gone to have a really long sleep’. These do so much damage to children who need closure and to understand death is a permanent state.

Reading case studies of children struggling with their suicidal thoughts has been painful but an eye opener. I feel better able to help the very young people in my life.

If you are interested in learning more check out ASK training online and up skill today. http://www.lifelineworkshops.com

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.

 

The World of Property Investment….

Growing Talent 12 (www.growing-talent.co.uk) is now firmly underway.  Reports so far are all good.

 

Yesterday I visited Sebastien who has a background in sales, abroad and at home.  With a passion for property but no experience he was a strong fit for Invest In Buy To Let who selected him to join them via the Growing Talent programme.

 

Two weeks in – the shine is not wearing off!  Cold calling, researching and evening events have meant Sebastien has been able to work with multiple people and learn quicker in situ.  He’s building his own client contacts and formulating strong relationships.

 

Luckily, Silin from Growing Talent 10 works for Shane, one of the directors in his other business Create A Business.  Based at the same venue, she can give Sebastien the encouragement doing the programme demands.

 

It always amazes me how some people write off those who are unemployed without knowing their stories, personalities etc.  Everyone on Growing Talent has to work full-time – often unsociable hours – for no money other than their benefits.  Grated, at the end there is a permanent job on offer where both employer and new employee have a confident match.  But the journey to that goal can be quite gruelling – especially the longer you’ve been out of work or the more negative, discouraging voices you have around you!

 

It takes a lot of tenacity and integrity to complete Growing Talent – definitely not for the faint hearted!

Growing Talent’s Orientation Week – Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral hosted the 12th Orientation Week for Growing Talent in their Chapter Room.  A light, airy room in which to learn, build confidence and relationships of trust.

 

Within 10 minutes of entering the room, the 10 ‘strangers’ started to plan their first presentation to the room.  ‘Six pictures of your life’!  Using landmarks in their lives the Growing Talent Associates – they are no longer allowed to call themselves ‘unemployed’ – confident public speaking ensues!  This is the foundation we build on for enhancing confidence and assertiveness for going on site.

 

Tuesday dawned with Gosia – part of Honeywell’s Audit/H&S team delivering a manual handling workshop.  This is delivered to ensure the guys have basic knowledge prior to a more in-depth session bespoke sessions in their roles.

 

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A slightly nervous Gosia above with the guys talking manual handling!

 

On Wednesday the Portico team – represented by Michelle, below,  – came across to deliver their ‘Give Yourself The Edge Presentation’.  Unfortunately the gods of technology weren’t listening and Michelle’s films would not play!  Still, she delivered an interactive session and gave an overview of her journey to her current role – not a straight line at all!

 

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After Michelle’s workshop, Linda one of the guides at Southwark Cathedral gave a tour on ‘hidden opportunities’.  The synergy was people who over the centuries had taken up challenges at the Cathedral – not really knowing what they were doing.  Learnt as they went and left a legacy.  This was the venue for one of the first London hospitals back in the 11th Century.

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Above the guys met Linda in the Courtyard to be briefed for the tour – great feedback!

The guys below working hard on some case studies!

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On Thursday, Chris dropped in to support the guys and share his insight.  Chris undertook Growing Talent on the 2nd programme when there was less support from Job Centre Plus and things were pretty tight.  He completed, joined Mitie Connect where he worked for two years before accepting another position with Portico as front of house reception at one of their prestigious accounts.

 

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Chris agreed to return to be one of the judges at the Social Enterprise panel on Friday.  It shows the level of commitment and passion in Growing Talent Graduates return to support those following them – Chris has to loose two days annual leave to attend!

 

Interjecting the above guest visitors with workshops, case studies, debates etc on communication, assertiveness, Social Enterprise challenge – we were finally ready for the Growing Talent Dragon’s Den – also known as the Social Enterprise ideas presentations to the judging panel.

 

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(l-r – Anna from JCP, Shane – Invest in Buy to Let, Steph – Iron Mountain, Jon – PwC, Kayleigh – MitieConnect, Christ – Portico and Tony – PwC)

 

Ideas were diverse and innovative including:

A Multi-cultural radio show by Stefan

 

A teenager interactive tv documentary by Leon

 

A community hangout for people with addiction/ex-offenders to creatively find a different path ending with an X-Factor style event – by Ashling & Zainab

 

A cultural learning space for arriving refugees to grow into contributing, integrated members of the community – by Mokthar

 

A  support venue for aspiring musicians with demo production, instrument repairs, jam sessions growing to a noticeboard website for

 

A creative venue, website and sale for member of the local community to learn new skills, make something, showcase it and sell it by Ashley

 

Lastly an internet cafe run by the community for the community with facilities for hourly hire of deskspace for those who want to set-up their own business by John.

 

After an exhausting week learning together the Growing Talent Associates departed for a restful weekend before joining their new employers………

 

Check back to see how they get on

 

Thoughts on the Orientation week from the Associates…..

“Without this programme, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to push myself enough to have gained the job role I have been offered.  It’s made me have more self-belief’

 

‘Jane was so welcoming, I feel I can speak to her about anything.  A truly lovely person’

 

‘The experience has been hugely beneficial for me.  I’ve enjoyed every part of it as well as meeting employers and learning their stories and making friends’

 

‘Jane’s a fantastic trainer, pleasant, friendly and made me feel really important and relaxed throughout’.

 

‘Thank you Jane, fantastic programme you run here!’

‘It was great’

 

‘definitely worth doing,  Great coming out of comfort zone.’

 

‘A real eye opener for me.  I’ve learnt a lot about myself and what I can do better’

 

“Jane’s amazing – very good at what she does”

 

“Brilliant experience – very different from what I expected. I’m more confident and able than I thought”

 

” I recommend this programme to others.  I’m very glad I joined the programme”

 

What great thoughts from the current GrowingTalent Associates……………..

Stop the press! Shennell & Alex start work four weeks early!

What an achievement for both of them.

 

So, ladies first!

 

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Shennell in her Iron Mountain uniform

 

Shennell’s was referred to Growing Talent by her brother who I’d worked with previously on a programme called the Real Apprentice.  Due to various things going on at the time, Shennell decided to take a break from her University Studies in March 15 and work for a year before deciding what she really wanted to do.  Would this be a return to Uni, travelling or employment – so many options!

 

She arrived at the Assessment Day not knowing what to expect but was open-minded.  Nervous on entering the room full of strangers, she soon started to relax and join in.  All of the assessments are designed to be fun and inter-active enabling true personalities to be seen and good matches made.

 

Selected by Chloe & Russ of Iron Mountain, to train to be a Data Specialist, Shennell joined the team close to Canning Town.  Learning the processes quickly, Shennell showed her commitment and focus from the start resulting in an excellent first appraisal, followed by the offer to start paid employment from 29 June instead of 27 July!

 

Alex at work

Alex looking every inch the manager not a Growing Talent Associate!

 

Alex had a passion to join the Army from a young age.  His dad didn’t share his plan.  At the age of 16 when Alex wanted to join but needed parental consent, his dad said no.  So he carried on with studies etc before raising the issue again at 18, thinking he no longer needed his dad’s position. However, living at home means parents rule!

 

So job searching commenced with little success.  This is often the case when we can’t follow our passion.  What role would suit us?  What company do we want to work for?

 

Alex secured some work experience with his local JobCentre.  Impressing the Employment Coaches with his tenacity, they put him forward to Growing Talent.  Alex won offers from a few companies with roles ranging from administration, mailroom to data specialist.  His older brother had worked at Iron Mountain previously and Alex was particularly attracted to their offer of Data specialist.

 

Like Shennell, he impressed Iron Mountain and has also started paid employment four weeks early.  Russ, their line manager is still freeing them up to attend the Holistic Week commencing 22 June when personal finance, fitness, nutrition and mental health first aid will be delivered.

 

‘Everyone’s a winner’ – as I believe Hot chocolate once sang!

 

 

Growing Talent 5 – What’s The Status?

Well after a prolific pre-screening programme back in April, leading employers including Mitie, Harrow Green, Iron Mountain, Portico and MHFA selected 11 to join them on the Growing Talent journey.

 

Jason, Bradley & Gavin went into operations roles with Harrow Green,  the leading business relocation organisation, who also took Shanika in a Customer Service role and Jose who has joined their HR team.

 

Trev and co

 

(l-r: Trev, Shanika, Sharon & Jose)

At the point of employment on completion, Jason, Bradley & Gareth will be skills multi operations assistants with a solid career path ahead of them.  Jason is already learning the tablet technology and has his sights set on installation.

 

Shankia had only retail experience and was a little worried on the office environment.  She need not have worried!  The team already feel she’s been there forever and is like a sponge when it comes to learning.  She is enthused and supportive with a strong focus on customer satisfaction.  The end job within the team will call for extensive liaison on the phone, in person whilst keeping a cool head in solution sourcing.

 

Jose was born and brought up in Maderia.  A strong trait of self-sufficiency saw Jose relocate to the UK a few years back to learn English.  His career had largely been spent in hospitality. but a natural passion for people and business saw him undertake evening studies in CIPD HR.  Working closely with the new HR Manager, Jose has a new project to deliver though idea, design, testing, launch, training.

 

Mr Reece Worrell joined the Mitie team in the archiving department.  The team look after all the information, records, contracts etc of a global financial firm.  Better than Reece 1 & 2 is the use of ‘Mister’ – not a note of favouritism!

 

Mr Reece Newton was selected by Gillian and Emma to join their small but industrious team at MHFAEngland based in Old Street in the role of Admin Assistant.  Reece was initially nervous – taking time to make sure his work was accurate – especially when it came to producing the First Aider Certificates!

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Gillian from MHFAEngland with Reece and Simon – Portico.

 

Pauline spotted Alenchenu’s potential to sine in her team at Mitie Service Solutions.  As part of the Rapids team, Alenchenu has to ensure all deliveries of urgent items reach their destination efficiently.  Not as easy as you might think!  These items can be high value documents or personal IT goods. Based in the Charing Cross area, Alenchenu is looking forward to the end role and promotion prospects!

 

Iron Mountain choose Shennell and Alex to join their data entry team in East London.  Shennell is on a year’s break from her University course in Psychology and Criminology.  Having done summer and part-time roles, Shennell wanted something which would give her options.  She has settled in well and is on course to secure a flexible job to turn into a career when she’s ready.  Alex, quiet by nature,

 

Camilla was selected to join the Executive Welcome team with Portico working at global organisations in central London.  This role is highly visible and customer facing.  Responsible for meet and greet, direction, meeting room set-up, client safety on site, inter departmental liaison the Executive Welcome team work with all levels of personnel including Board.  Camilla has embraced the challenge and is working very well.  Simon, MD of Portico and Jordan, Welcome Team Executive – also Growing Talent Associate on the 2nd programme! – were judges on the Social Enterprise idea, the flagship workshop of the Orientation Week.

Simon Camilla Jordan

 

Camilla won the Social Enterprise Challenge with her idea – Renaissance House.  Seen below receiving her cup from Jon or PwC

 

Camila and Jon

 

The guys have all been on site for a week now and starting to get used to the routine of employment.  Each have gone into roles open minded and hungry to learn.  They are doing well and initial reports are encouraging.  

Watch this space to see how the guys progress over the coming weeks……………..

A triumph – Friday 6 February

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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.

 

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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’

‘Brilliant’

‘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.’

http://www.growing-talent.co.uk

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!

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