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Our Autumn Term Education work

12 Jan 2024

Throughout November and December, the Cares Education team have been busy delivering interview skills and career talks to a number of schools across the city and county.

First stop was at Longfield Academy Melton where we interviewed 180 students over the morning and welcomed a diverse group of volunteers from Samworth group, Nelson’s, CPW and Cambridge & Counties. We also welcomed STEM ambassadors from The British Army, Waterman Aspen in addition to volunteers from British Gas.

We then entered the virtual world to deliver our speedy speakers careers talk to over 500 students across the year groups and we were very fortunate to be joined by a volunteer from Samworth Group HR department and a semi-retired independent. What worked well was the contrast we could provide students between someone who was early on in their career with someone who had worked for 50 years and the lessons they had both learned. We ran out of time with a ton of questions still unanswered in the chat !

Over to Rushey Mead Academy in early December – we had a shaky start to the morning with volunteers being held up by a road traffic accident – however the volunteers and school pulled together to ensure all 170 students interviews ran to time – again we had a wonderful variety of volunteers from Nelson’s , Alltruck PLC, CGI , CPW and Melton Foods and a last minute dash from Freeth’s solicitors to provide some much needed cover! We also welcomed Hays recruitment, who were volunteering for their “giving back day” and volunteers from Lloyds Banking, De Montfort University and DWP.

Our final mainstream delivery of interview skills was over two days at Brookvale Academy, Groby – where we were overwhelmed by the support from our volunteers. 240 students in total were interviewed by 26 volunteers with thanks to Everards, Sytner, Nelson’s and Freeth’s providing volunteers on day one who were joined by Santander, Sunrise Wellbeing, DMU and CLC contractors. On the second day we were supported Freeth’s, Cambridge and Counties, CGI and East Midlands Chamber in addition to Kier Construction, Equans construction and transitions UK in addition to a STEM ambassador from the microchip industry.

It is important to add that across our interview skills sessions we are supported by a number of retired, independent volunteers who come from backgrounds such as aviation, police, university academic and librarians. These volunteers contribute a wealth of experience to our mock interviews and help ensure that there is a diverse cohort of volunteers in terms of both age and job backgrounds – we hope to continue to promote these opportunities to the newly retired, especially in light of an ageing population as there are so many mutual benefits to be had for both the students and volunteers.

Brookvale Groby Learning Campus would like to thank volunteers and Leicestershire Cares for volunteering their time to give the students the best experience possible

Elaine Dawson, Careers Lead

So why do our volunteers want to sit in a school hall all morning and interview a bunch of 15-16 years olds? Well our volunteers tell us that they get as much (or maybe more) out of the experience as the students do! It’s a wonderful thing to be able to support someone through their first interview and have the opportunity to impart some of our own wisdom to young people who are just starting out in the world of work. What worked for us ? what was the best career move we made? What did we learn from our mistakes?

For our younger volunteers its also provides great opportunities to network with other businesses, which I believe has been somewhat lost post pandemic. Interviewing and providing feedback to students also boosts key recruitment and selection experience which can prove a key transferable skill in the workplace.

Finally – we need to get out more! out of the office ( or the house) and be present in the real world – it’s a change to the four walls that can sometimes be needed – and the opportunity to learn new things as you tap into the young people’s workforce – gets you thinking and the cogs turning about your company and its future employees .

If you would like to find out more about taking part in interview skills contact or look at our website here.