“I have the pleasure getting into this program and working with Jane at Growing Talent. Since the whole job market has changed after Covid, many people struggle with finding themselves or finding their confidence for looking for a job.
Growing Talent gives this confidence back to people, who are talented, keen and willing to work but maybe they are just not visible enough to employers.
Instead of going through the same old recruitment process of sending CVs, trying to stand out from thousands of resumes, catching employers’ attention in 6 seconds (which often feels like a battle), at Growing Talent your resume is your personality, your charisma, energy and you have the opportunity to show & talk about yourself the way you want the employers to know about you.
Great companies give you their time and attention in a fun event that can actually lead to your next amazing role. And the best thing is that Jane guides you through the whole process, making sure that you are prepared and perform at your best.
This is such a unique experience that could benefit more companies and candidates – l wish more organisations would operate this way! Thanks to Growing Talent, many of us had the chance to step into a pool of great opportunities.” Fru, Growing Talent participant March 2023 joining SPS Global
Wing, joining Pilgrims Group & Fru joining SPSGlobal during the Orientation and Holistic week.
Growing Talent works because of our 360 collaboration with employers, the currently unemployed, the JobCentre Plus ‘All Stars’ led by David & Anna and of course our awesome funders – a global financial services organisation.
Thank you all with special thanks to those partners taking part this time – as you can see Fru eloquently shows the difference we all make when working together.
Take a bow everyone 👏 👏 👏
Our employers taking part this time: Breyer Group, Office Concierge, ISS, Restore Harrow Green, Honeywell, Portico & SPS, our JobCentre Plus ‘All Stars’ and cheerleaders – David Steeds & Anna Matthews & of course our fabulous Growing Talent Associates: Fru, Wing, Shanika, Ola & Joseph who took the leap to do something completely different 👏 👏 👏
If you are an employer looking to fill your vacancies with some awesome talent in London or someone who has lost their mojo to secure a job they can grow into a career why not check Growing Talent out?
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:
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
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!
Our first speed dating (first stage selection) for Growing Talent commences with a quick fire speed session which enables employers to identify those they wold like to meet for a more in-depth chat about their roles on their sites.
With no cvs nor formal interview to undergo, the atmosphere is relaxed and laughter quickly flows.
Andy from Winlight Recruitment chatting to some participants….
For employers Growing Talent is the only way to ‘test drive’ someone in their vacant role ensuring they fit the role, team, company BEFORE hiring. Even more attractive is this doesn’t cost s penny. Run and funded by business for business.
Always smiling! Pedro and Sharaz from Pertemps checking out the untapped talent out there….
Equally important is the applicant experience. Growing Talent is only open to unemployed people over the age of 18 – no upper age limit – in London who have a strong will to work but need a little TLC.
Growing Talent enables unemployed people to shine and grow on their journey to employment. With a provisional job upfront, they are aware of the end job. As the employer trains them in that role during the programme, there are no surprises.
Kate from Firmdale Hotels returned to share the opportunities available……
If you are looking to get new talent in your business confidently and cost effectively or an unemployed and looking to get a role where you have the opportunity to prove yourself …… check out Growing Talent now.
Sergio & Lina from ISS – Sergio’s first time at speed dating!
What have you got to lose? Why not check out Growing Talent 26 in March?
Social mobility in action delivering equality and diversity automatically.
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
After 5 years, 2019 saw the introduction of a sleek new format for Growing Talent. Now 6 weeks long with, in exceptional circumstances, the ability to lengthen this to a max 12 weeks, it still has the two core elements essential to completing the Growing Talent journey – Orientation Week & Holistic Week.
The Orientation Week takes place after selection but prior to going on the employer’s site and training in the vacant role. This is designed to build confidence, set challenges, raise self-esteem and of course building team work.
A new venue as well at Etc Venues in Eastcheap saw the additional of breakfast for all Growing Talent Associates each morning on the Orientation !
A selection of cereals, cold meats, cheese, pastries and of course a smoothie corner!
The coffee centre for cappuccino, lattes as well as teas was a welcome shot of caffeine during the week!
Monday saw Lesley – Head of H&S at PwC join us to deliver her invigorating 3Rs (Refresh, Renewal and Rejuvenate) workshop designed to enhance wellbeing.
Lesley shared her top tips on healthy choices, staying awake and energised as well as the amount of ingredients in a shop brought muffin (you really don’t want to know the answer!)
On Tuesday we were joined by Emma from Unravelling Minds who delivered not only her experience of intense workload causing her mental health issues but how she used art therapy as a recovery tool and now uses it as a solid wellbeing tool.
You could hear a pin drop as Emma set tasks for the guys to complete. All agreed they were so much more relaxed after Emma’s workshop and would use the tools she’d given them during lunch breaks etc to stay mindful of their own wellbeing – a crucial attribute for us all.
Wednesday we focused on public speaking and presentations as well as discussing all ideas for the Social Enterprise challenge at the end of the week. This comprises each Growing Talent Associate devising and delivering an idea to benefit a local community. It must have a revenue stream and be ‘doable’. This is delivered before a panel of managers from their employer sites who decide on the winner for the £50 cash prize!
Case studies, communication, skills gap analysis, conflict management, employment etiquette, challenges under the Equalities Act 2010, what if scenarios, networking tasks as well as how to do a good handshake made up middle of the week.
Jade from Customer Care First (CCF) joined us on Thursday to share knowledge of the intricacies of speaking, listening, annunciation, body language etc – communication is pretty tough to do right!
Jade above explaining the core elements of communication.
Estela, Joseph and Abraham above with Jade trying to list what conversations are ok to have with colleagues – not as easy as you might thing under the Equalities Act 2010 – challenges can be made by third parties who overhear what you say!
Empowered by the week and what they had achieved, we were ready for the Social Enterprise challenge.
Judges l-r Antonia – Portico, Jamie – Red Personnel, Adam – PwC, Julie – Portico, Ebb – Crown Plaza & Mark – PwC
The judges listened to six excellent ideas before deciding Jess’s ‘Wake up – to Make-up’ was the winner.
Jess collecting her prize from Adam of PwC
To finish off, we had an excellent networking lunch.
So what did the guys think of the week? Just a few comments below…..
‘The Orientation Week helps you gain confidence, learn about the work culture and polish our own skills. It is a good way to prepare yourself for going into/back to work. Growing Talent offers high quality training. It takes Associates seriously and acknowledges their talent. I have never been on anything like this before. I feel valued.’
‘The Orientation Week is so worth doing because it helps you build confidence for your workplace so you can be even better at what you do.’
‘I’m glad Growing Talent exists’
‘The Orientation Week enables you to transition into work more smoothly. It gives you skills you can use as a head start in your role. Fab – what an amazing opportunity!’
With just a few short weeks to go before kick off, Senior Managers are juggling their diaries and confirming their place on this very special panel.
The crux of the event is affirmation of the confidence and talent the Growing Talent Associates have grown over the week.
A choice is given to work alone or in small groups. The remit is to devise a social enterprise idea which will benefit a section of the community, develop a revenue stream and have development potential. A tall order for largely unemployed people with little self-confidence.
Working on this largely in their own time with one full day (broken into shorter segments) it’s amazing to all, including the Associates, the confidence with which they deliver their ideas.
It’s always difficult for the senior managers to select one winning idea. The small trophy has now been replaced with a cash prize of £10 per winning Associate – much more useful that a ‘tin cup’!
After this a buffet lunch and networking takes place. By this time some of the Associates are really ‘assertive’ in getting contact details from the panel!
Watch this blog for more stories of success, laughter and a few tears when the next Growing Talent launches later this month…….
Seated – the previous judging panel comprising Selvan – Invest In Buy To Let, Julie – Portico, Peter – Wilson James, Lois – MitieTDM, Allen – PwC – Head Judge, Sharon – Harrow Green, Shane – Invest In Buy To Let & Trevor – known by previous Associates as ‘the legend’ Harrow Green.
This morning saw the information session for Growing Talent 8 presenting to senior managers from all districts of Job Centre Plus – London and the Home Counties.
Some had travelled for over two hours to attend!
The venue was right on top of Embankment in prestigious offices. For the first time I travelled by boat – amazing! Just spending a few minutes taking in the scenery really put me ‘in the moment’. Everything I had on my mind just melted away.
Camilla, William and Mehmet, seen in the feature photo above, agreed to share their journey on Growing Talent. Camilla is now working for Portico, William for Harrow Green and Mehmet for MiteTDM.
Jordan from Growing Talent 2 was part of the Welcome team today!
After setting the scene, criteria to take part and showing a presentation, Camilla, Mehmet and William took the floor…………. and stole the show!
The managers were inspired as was a new employer sitting in the audience who already has ideas on spreading the word within his business networks.
Finally, Anna from the London district team of JobCentre Plus took the floor to explain the process, troubleshooting tips etc
The two hours flew past. The audience was buzzing and we left in the firm belief Growing Talent would be the best programme yet. Watch this space…….
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!
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.