TwentyTwenty, a registered charity founded in 2007, strives to help disadvantaged and disengaged young people to succeed in education and find sustainable employment. The name was selected with the purpose to demonstrate the need for young people to have a clear vision on their future and prospects. The young people TwentyTwenty work with may have mental disabilities, learning difficulties or be scarred psychologically from their previous experiences. As a result this has left the young people feeling averse to seeking work due to the belief that their disadvantages have damaged their chance at finding and retaining a job.
The latest government statistics in the East Midlands, have shown that there are 67,000 16-24 year olds who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET). Due to the volume of young people NEET, TwentyTwenty take it as their mission to get young people’s engagement back and help prepare them for the pathway to employment. This is supported through dedicated Lifeskills Centres throughout the East Midlands; all managing specific services and programmes with devoted teachers, counsellors, mentors and volunteers.
A current TwentyTwenty project is Journey to Work (J2W). This aims to give real life work experience and exposure to learn employability skills, meet local employers, achieve qualifications and overall gain confidence. The 6 month course supports young people find and retain a job; or a work experience placement. An aspect of the course has been to invite external employers to the Lifeskills Centres to share their own experiences, provide insight on business or give their own take on a particular topic selected by the centre; including application forms, CVs, mock interviews and workplace expectations.
Our involvement with TwentyTwenty
Matilda Swanson and Rosie Mellers from LoatesHR met TwentyTwenty in the local Derby networking community and were eager to find out how they could share their own skills and real-life experiences of seeking employment and being in the workplace. Matilda and Rosie have so far volunteered their time to prepare and present four workshops to contribute to the Journey to Work programme and have even been in discussions of a fifth session!
In October, Matilda and Rosie conducted a session on Application Forms. This entailed discussions, interactive tasks and games to engage the young people and expose them to what an application form is. They worked through tips for completion and how to use transferable skills. The aim was to give confidence to those looking to complete one in the near future who had either never seen one before, did not know how to complete one or had not been successful so far in being shortlisted for a role. In line with the positive feedback received by the teacher after the session, LoatesHR left feeling confident that they had achieved their aim and the young people were now feeling more confident and competent to complete an application form.
In January, Matilda and Rosie were invited back again to present a workshop on Workplace Etiquette and Expectations. This entailed further team tasks and discussions to understand topics including effective communication, what to wear to work, time management, respect and overall having a positive attitude in the workplace. LoatesHR valued the opportunity to work with the same class again as it was great experience to build and maintain their relationships with the young people. This contributed to the successful delivery of the second session and to achieving the aim to share insight to what a boss expects from you; what will help you do well in a company; and what will help you build relationships in work.
In May, Matilda ventured back alone with a new class to discuss 'Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself.' Here we looked at what is good marketing and branding; and how this applies to yourself. We looked at how to successfully prepare, package and present yourself to employers, recruiters, educational providers and anyone who may be interested in your employability.
Most recently in July, Matilda met a third class and ran a session on Social Media in the Workplace. With so much to discuss on this topic, we managed to squeeze in the positives in social media presence, when social media goes wrong, using social media in the workplace and using social media to apply for jobs. With Snapchat being the most commonly used form of media, we focused on how the impermanence of it can mean posts are very direct and auto-destruct, which of course can lead to risks or issues. So just because it is gone after 10 seconds, does not mean it is gone forever #screengrab, nor does it mean any evidence is gone. I informed them how in HR we do not always need hard evidence if we have reasonable belief something has happened. This was an extremely relevant and current topic which the whole class was able to relate to.
LoatesHR & TwentyTwenty
By involvement in these projects, LoatesHR feel they have contributed to the charity by exposing the young adults to examples of the workplace; how to find a job that they may have never experienced before; and overall giving them confidence in themselves to find or apply for a role.
Through insight and experience working within this charity, it was clear the high dedication from mentors and the above and beyond attitude of the organisation’s leaders. This was demonstrated to us through examples including helping those with travel costs and support to get home; showing attentiveness in their home and personal lives; and having the ability to work with each young person on a tailored and individual level. Projects are interactive and integrated as learning is applied both in and outside the classroom. The schemes are then continued with aftercare for up to a year after completion to provide support into the young person’s workplace or educational experience. This demonstrates their commitment to the young people to help them succeed and improve their lives for the better.
The team at LoatesHR has overall enjoyed working with such an enthusiastic and committed charity on a programme that LoatesHR feels they can contribute their own personal and professional experiences to. We hope to work together again in 2018.