Nurturing the next generation of working talent

By Amy Gorbell


Career Ready Logo

Career Ready Programme

Utilize is proud to help nurture the next generation of working talent. Recently, three members of staff have partnered with the Career Ready Mentorship programme to become volunteer mentors.

The Career Ready programme is designed to connect students with working people and workplaces, helping them to develop their understanding of careers and the typical professional skills needed to succeed in employment. Each student is paired with a mentor from a local business who is participating in the programme. Students and mentors are matched based on interests and goals to aid in quickly building a rapport.

Utilize Managing Director – Guy Hocking, Head of Client Services – Mike Smith and Myself (Internal Marketing & Communications Manager) have recently completed a volunteer onboarding programme including a DBS check to become mentors. Our responsibility as mentors is to help young adults achieve goals and grow their skillset over the year as they prepare to enter the working world post education. The programme is driven by seven ‘Skills for Career Success’, each element of the programme references these skills and students are required to rate their progress on these over twelve months.

The skills are:

  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Communication & Networking
  • Managing my career
  • Managing myself
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork

To kick off the 2023 programme, Guy, Mike, and I took part in an icebreaker session hosted at the student’s school. In the session, Lynette Brathwaite recapped on what students and mentors should expect by taking part in this programme, in terms of setting boundaries, expectations and key points on how to make the student-mentor relationship a success. Then after a team building exercise, we got to spend some time with our mentees, introducing ourselves and getting to know each other.

It was a great afternoon meeting lots of students and listening to their goals and aspirations, and to gain a greater understanding of what these young adults want to achieve in life.

Moving forward, it’s up to us to schedule monthly, face-to-face meetings with our mentees. During these meetings, we will set realistic targets to aid their transition from education to employment and help to give them the best start to their (hopefully long and successful!) careers.  In addition to meeting at their school or local coffee shop, the students will have the opportunity to visit our office in Basildon and experience the day-to-day running and interactions of the workplace.

Anyone can become a mentor, and I would highly recommend Career Ready’s programme to businesses and individuals who are invested or interested in nurturing the next generation of co-workers to successfully transition into the workplace.

I’d like to wish all volunteer mentors, and mentees, every success for the year ahead!

To find out how you and your workplace could help in a variety of ways check out their website: Career Ready Post 16 Programme – Career Ready

Learn more about our Careers
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