Education and employability has been at the heart of ONE Community since 2011. In that time, our team have delivered educational tours for 3000 students, volunteered to 'mock-interview' over 100 students, and welcomed young people for work placements.
In the last few of years, we have been working closely with Everton in the Community (EITC), a local charity and community hub based on Spellow Lane, just outside Goodison Park. Together, we have been exploring how we, Liverpool ONE’s Management Company, can support some of the young people taking part in EITC’s Working Futures programme. Many of the young people we meet are unsure about their career path, or if they do know, are finding it difficult to take the first steps; perhaps because they found it tough attaining qualifications at school or their confidence has been knocked by previous employers.
Through a mix of presentations, group workshops and one-to-one mock interviews, our team have sought to challenge perceptions, breaking down some of the barriers young people think there are working for a company like ours. One of the big unknowns, especially if you have never applied for a job before, is the recruitment process and understanding what the employer is looking for. We have found that holding a mock group interview, much like the ones we hold for real applicants, gives us an opportunity to talk about the skills and values that help you to stand out – many have not had the chance to do anything like this before.
Building on these sessions, we offer young people who would like to gain some hands on experience a chance to undertake a work placement in our team. In the last year we welcomed placements to our IT, Marketing, Facilities and Information Centre Teams. The final placement, which took place in the run-up to Christmas, offered time with each of these teams and helped Georgia build her confidence and see where her interest and skills lay.
It was during her time with our team in the Information Centre that Georgia really excelled. Able to speak Spanish, a willingness to learn, and pleased to help customers, she fitted in right away. Seeing her get on so well, and with a temporary Christmas Information Centre vacancy available, our Customer Service Manager invited her for an interview. Brimming with newly found confidence, Georgia aced her interview and was offered the position.
Over Christmas, Georgia worked hard and demonstrated how much she had learnt both from her time with EITC and during her placement. She was asked to apply for a role in the Information Centre at the end of the year and is now a permanent member of our Information Centre team.
Georgia’s story represents how our partnership with EITC has delivered real benefits. By volunteering as an interviewer or by delivering a workshop, our team can build a young person’s confidence to undertake a placement that gives them the skills they need for their journey into employment. Likewise, we are now benefitting form a great new addition to the Liverpool ONE team.