Orientation – the fun way!

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!’

 

 

 

 

Holistic Week – Growing Talent…..

This is the ‘soft skills’ section of Growing Talent’s 12 week programme.  Usually carried out halfway through.  It’s a time for the Growing Talent Associates to meet up again and encourage each other face-to-face as well as learn some wellbeing techniques and ‘kick back’ a little from their usual work timetable!

 

We returned to Southwark Cathedral were we held the Orientation Week back in early February!  At least no more presentations before senior managers!

So what did we cover?:

Monday – parts 1 & s of Mental Health First Aid – a global course resulting in a qualification as a MHFAider.  This is an intense four part global programme so we lightened the learning a little with Lesley’s 3Rs!

 

Lesley, seen above, is part of the Health & Safety team at PwC.  Her 3Rs are Refuel, Recycle and  Refresh. It’s all about what to eat, how much sleep, exercise all the usual things we need to consider when making choices.  It’s especially difficult doing this on a strict budget!

‘I got a lot of information which I’ll put into practice!’ ‘Another important segment that allowed growth within the unknown.’

Tuesday – saw parts 3 and 4 of the MHFA programme be completed.  This time, Healthy Bites  Nutrition was sandwiched  between the two sections.  This invaluable workshop by Kate from HBN (www.hbnutrition.org) dispels myths around diets, the latest fads and new guidelines – such as only 7 tsp of sugar a day.  Kate shares the cost savings in making your own food, cost comparison and ingredients as well as how to eat quickly prepared nutritious meals on a budget!

 

Kate below preparing the Associates for making their own Pot Noodle!

 

A good workshop for sustaining health both in and out of work” ” I know what food groups are now!’

 

Sharing why recycling waste is so important was Dan from Suez, on the left below, on Wednesday.  This got everyone thinking.  A quick roundtable showed the difference between residential recycling across boroughs.  Indeed one of the Associates who has never recycled was inspired to go through her bins!

 

 

Thursday we talked finance.  Covering the basics we should know around debt, regular payments budgets, and so on. It’s surprising how well received this workshop is but on reflection maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising.  After all, where do you learn this stuff if you don’t have supportive, informed parents? Does the Education system have the time to do this?

 

‘The 3 x thirds will be really useful’, ‘I learnt about saving money and ISAs – really useful when we start earning’, ‘this was the most important topic covered for me’ ‘I learnt how to plan ahead’ ‘One million % worth it.  I understand now how to be financially stable.’

In the afternoon it was off to do an Art project!  Terrifying for some!  Their task was to visit Tate Gallery in Bankside and select an item that ‘spoke’ to them.  This could be in a good or bad way.

 

Left to right above inside the Tate are Mokhtar, Leon, Zainab, Ilamathy, Stefan, Ashley, Sebastien & John.

 

Friday morning we had a good discussion on their visit to the Tate, why they selected their piece of art and what they would ask the artist……… then they had to draw it!  You can see the results in the feature photo.  So much laughter in the room.  For some it ignited a childhood love of drawing for others it opened their eyes to a possible new creative way to feed their soul during lunchtime break and outside of work.

 

After some paperwork we finished up the week at lunchtime.They guys presented me with a lovely gift before going home for a well deserved break!

 

On Monday they returned to their employer sites:  Zainab, Ashley & Mokhtar – Harrow Green, Craig, John & Ashling – Iron Mountain – Ashling had to work this week, Leon – Pertemps, Ilamathy – Red Personnel, Stefan – Mitie Connect and Sebastien at Invest In Buy To Let.

 

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

 

Growing Talent 12 Begins!

After the preliminary screening sessions by JobCentre Plus, charities and myself we were ready for the Employers’ Speed Dating sessions held at Southwark Cathedral’s Gary Weston Library on 24 January 2017.

 

We call it speed dating because there are no cvs nor job descriptions.  The selection is based on personalities alone!  A unique way to recruit.

 

Employers had a table each and small groups of applicants on 10 minute rotation to decided who they wanted to see for the final selection stage.

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(l-r – Scott, James & Lois from Mitie Connect)

Scott and James were new to Growing Talent.  Despite not knowing what it was all about properly – they embraced the change and identified Stefan who joins the team on a global cosmetic account.

 

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Frances & Dan above are used to Growing Talent having recruited several members of staff on previous programmes.  Here they are chatting with Ilamathy.  Working for a global hotel brand – it’s not always easy identifying the ideal candidate(s).  Growing Talent allows confidence in all hires for all parties.

 

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Selvan and Shane of Invest in Buy to Let have several companies between them.  On this occasion, they were seeking a personality to fill a marketing role.

 

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Jamie & Adam of Pertemps are huge supporters of Growing Talent not only filling their own consultant vacancies but trying to support those who don’t get selected for a place.

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Ebb and Christina her colleague from Holiday Inn Bradford Lock were joined by newcomer Gemma of Crown Plaza hotel in Canary Wharf. Ebb is a cheerleader of Growing Talent having recruited from the programme previously.  She also appears in the latest film with Michel Burke – check out the Case Studies tab at http://www.growing-talent.co.uk

 

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A welcome return to Iron Mountain who have just undergone a global takeover which meant they were away from Growing Talent’s last few programmes.  Above are Steph, Russ & Michelle speaking with one of their three recruits on Growing Talent – John!

 

Finally – the Growing Talent Associates below were selected…….

John, Ashling & Craig join Iron Mountain

Mokhtar, Zainab & Ashley – join Harrow Green

Sebastien – joins Invest In Buy to Let

Leon – joins Pertemps

Ilamathy – joins Red Personnel

Stefan – joins Mitie Connect

 

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Check back to see how the fabulous 10 get on………

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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