Orientation Week – Growing Talent 12…… How Did It Go – Read On!


30 Jan 2017 saw the start of the Orientation Week for the 12th programme of Growing Talent.  With 90 successfully into permanent jobs already, our fabulous 10 Associates – Stefan, Mokhtar, Ilamathy, Sebastien, Ashley, Ashling, Zainab, John, Craig & Leon are eager for the same result.


Held at the unique venue of Southwark Cathedral, the 10 strangers very quickly became firm friends by the end on Friday 3rd February – supporting and encouraging each other through various presentations, case studies, challenges etc.


Within 10 minutes of walking into the Chapter Room at the Cathedral, the Associates had to deliver their first presentation – no pressure then!  Using a framework of six or more pictures from different stages of their lives the presentation was on them.  We all learnt a lot and laughed a lot too.


Workshops included communication, assertiveness vs aggression, case studies in the workplace, discussions on what could go wrong and how to deal with situations as they arised.

Tuesday was manual handling with Gosia – above – who has only just moved to Leicester!  Part of the Honeywell team, Gosia has a roving role carrying out audits and ensuring staff are operating safely in the workshop.  She shared some basic knowledge the Growing Talent Associates should observe in the workplace – and home for that matter!  How many of us lift heaving shopping without thinking if we’re in the right position to do so?



On Wednesday we welcomed Michelle of Portico who delivered a ‘Give Yourself The Edge’ presentation unfortunately the technological gods were not with us and despite twiddling of every possible knob, her interactive videos would not play!  Still, a debate on what constitutes good workplace personal image followed.




In the afternoon the Associates joined tour guide Linda for a tour of Southwark Cathedral to learn about hidden opportunities.  There’s more to the Cathedral than a place of worship!



Thursday saw Chris join us for a roundtable on his experience on Growing Talent 2 and what has happened to him since.  It’s always good to speak to someone who has been through the programme before.  It gives a ‘warts ‘n’ all’ perspective and some top tips as well.  Unfortunately it was a lot tougher on Chris and his peers back then as we didn’t have the same level of Job Centre Plus support.  His two year stay with Mitie before moving on to a different role with Portico and a Personal Development Plan enthused all of the Associates!  It’s not where you start but where you end that counts and Growing Talent is a journey of opportunities………  He’s also doing Uni of an evening!


A running theme throughout the week was to devise and present a social enterprise idea which benefits a community and delivers a revenue stream.  This is delivered on Friday morning before a panel of managers from the employers and partners – nerve racking!


It was a close call and the judges had to debate long and hard to secure an overall winner.


An overjoyed Mokthar collecting his £10 prize from Jon of PwC!


So what did the guys think of the week?


‘I made a lot of friends.  It’s the best fun I’ve had in a long time’

‘I like the workshops and think this should keep happening’

‘From day 1 I had the best days with the amazing, funny and lovely Associates’

‘I learnt that I can really build my confidence’

‘I’m not as nervous as I was at the start of the week.  I am confident now’

‘An excellent programme which removes a lot of barriers when applying for jobs’

‘It;s a great programme to be on and I would recommend it to anyone who is willing to work’

‘The team was friendly, supportive and pushed me forward’

‘Its an excellent scheme.  Really superb’


Check back to see how the guys get on over the coming weeks………..