Operations Manager, Rob Francis is the driving force. He is also co-chair of the Black and Minority Ethnic Sub Regional Partnership and a strong supporter of young people within the community.
After hearing about Talent Match, Rob wanted to get involved to add his support to the project.
We caught up with him to talk about his involvement…
Why did you get involved?
I’ve been doing voluntary work for several years and I was approached by the Volunteer Centre about Talent Match and thought that this seems like a good scheme and I want to get involved.
What do you see as the benefits?
It’s a unique way of trying to get young people into employment. The great thing about it is that it is uses young people to assist other young people into realising how best they can improve themselves and develop and use their skills. I think it’s a very good scheme.
And the whole young person focus is what makes it unique?
That is the key, the way young people open up to other young people works really well.
What do you think are the challenges that young people face, particularly when trying to find employment?
Young people have this challenge of trying to demonstrate that they’ve got experience. They need work experience and also qualifications, so they have this barrier in front of them and to break that barrier we need employers to step-up and give them that opportunity.
Why would you encourage businesses to get involved with Talent Match?
I would say to businesses that we have an important role here; we can really assist young people to get into employment by offering tasters, work experience, apprenticeships and job opportunities. I think a lot of benefits can come if we do give that time to young people.
You have offered work tasters around Curtis Instruments. What do you think are the benefits?
Work tasters give the young people the opportunity to see what happens in a real company. They get to see what the roles are within a company and actually talk to people in employment at the moment. If they haven’t worked before then they don’t understand the roles within a company and this gives them that opportunity.
What is your experience of young people in the workplace?
We’ve had a number of young people come to our company and we’ve seen them thrive. Once they get in amongst other experienced people they grow very quickly. Whatever their background, just that opportunity to work with other people, be lifted by the people around them, they really grow quickly; it’s been a real positive experience.
Talent Match has been running for two years now. It’s moving forward really positively and I’d like to see the whole programme grow. I’d like to see more young people come through the process. I’d like the whole community to get involved and get behind it and help our young people move forward; they are the future.
Will you be looking at offering more work tasters in the future?
Yes, I think it’s good. It’s good for our staff. We’ve got a mature workforce and they like to see the young people come through and share their stories.
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