In July 2012, we invited 60 students (14 to 15 year olds) to join us for one week across Kingswood and Cardiff office locations.
They took part in our ‘step up for success programme’, which provides a unique opportunity for students to achieve a new accreditation a ‘Level Two Young Consultant Award’. The week helps to build confidence and an understanding of the workplace.
We ran two courses simultaneously with students from The Beacon School, Banstead and St Teilos Church in Wales High School, Cardiff.
Working with 12 of our employees acting as both mentors and managers, the students were challenged to provide five recommendations on how we could use social media.
During four days of intensive research, our teams investigated how we currently use social media, which included them getting out into the business and talking to some of our staff about what they thought.
It was a good chance for our volunteers to understand the creative minds of our youth. Each volunteer found the challenge of working with the students extremely rewarding and took them completely out of their comfort zones.
On the final day the teams delivered presentations to an audience of over 30 people, including Tim Breedon (our former Chief executive), and made recommendations on how we could improve our use of social media. We saw our groups grow and develop throughout the week, and gain enough confidence for them to present to a room full of people - something many of us would try to avoid!
The winning teams’ members all received vouchers – proving hard work does have its rewards! The students returned to school energised and with a greater understanding of the workplace.
In 2013 we intend to deliver the programme to 90 young people from three schools in the London, Kingswood and Cardiff location.