Twickenham vibe….


Running Growing Talent I’m often invited to attend Job Fairs across London hosted by JobCentre Plus.

I’ve always declined these invitations. Growing Talent is a successful journey to employment programme which runs four times a year in London. It is not an employer and does not have jobs direct, nor is it a recruitment agency so, for me, going to Job Fairs is a little misleading for attendees.

Yesterday, after some persuasion from Zara on the JobCentre Plus team at Twickenham, saw me attend their event. The only reason I agreed to do this was the imminent start of the next Growing Talent so there is something tangible attendees can consider.

Unfortunately for some of the employers and Government funded providers attending – the lift at the JobCentre was out of order meaning a little morning workout climbing the stairs – though not as intensive for the team who had to do relays escorting everyone in from street level!

I got some insight into how disruptive hosting a jobs fair is for JobCentre Plus teams who give up their work stations for hours to enable employers, Government providers and Growing Talent to meet some of their customers looking for work.

A diverse range of unemployed people attended despite the awful weather. Looking around the floor all employers and Government providers seemed to have people eager to see them. I had none! But that soon changed and then I had queues of people waiting to see me! One incredibly well presented person attended with their mum. They thought ‘Talent’ referred to improving the existing creative talent people have – in their case music. As I explained the ethos of Growing Talent, why it was devised and the positive impact it’s had on people – their enthusiasm increased despite music not being part of the formula!

Leaflets were given out – including to a work coach at JobCentre Plus who wants to share the opportunity with her 20 something son.

The proof of how successful the event was for Growing Talent will be in how many people request the Zoom details to join the virtual session on 23 October.