A triumph – Friday 6 February

panel

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’

‘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……

Just do it!

Over the Christmas break I undertook some ‘administration’!  Finally sorting through those bits of paper, electronic files and e-mails in the hope of making identifying information more efficient in 2015!

I managed to do this but a valuable by product was finding a page of quotes some past and recent graduates of Growing Talent had sent.  They made me realise that even when politics raises its ugly head in trying to do something new, the value to people in the ‘just do it’ mantra I adopted many years ago makes it more than worthwhile.

‘There are no limits to growing talent.  Attitude, dedication and determination will decide your destination.’ – previous to Growing Talent this person had little education and zero commercial work experience.  They had researched and helped build a family website over a few months.  Now he is an integral part of the team of this manufacturer in Southwark.  He undertakes payroll – having passed all three levels of Sage, company records and administration.  His personal confidence has soared.

‘Be flexible and adaptable to new changes.  This will be a stepping stone to a great future.’  This accountancy graduate had a troubled early life having arrived in the UK as a refugee with her family.  Living in temporary accommodation with her family the uncertainty of home/work didn’t detract from her determination.  She is now working her way up a global management records company with her eye on their accounts department.

‘Stay strong! Remember why you are doing this and what your end goal is.  Make use of every opportunity you find’.  A graduate in communications with a passion for art and photography, this person was outwardly confident having been encouraged by parents, each with their own business, to succeed in everything from an early age.  However, on leaving university the jobs didn’t come and the confidence dipped.  They are now working in recruitment as a consultant and have set-up their own on-line business as well.

The guys wrote these quotes to encourage those following them on Growing Talent  Having been with them on their journey start to finish and still in touch with them know, it encourages me how much Growing Talent meant to them, what it has done for them and what the skills learnt on the programme will do for them in the future.

Having re-read these and remembered the individuals’ powerful journeys I am determined to ‘just do it’ when met with the ‘politics’ of partner organisations.

If you have read this, take the time to think of the difference you have made to others both at work and at home.  Be enthused at the impact you have on others and ‘just do it’ next time you are faced with a challenge!

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