National electrical contractor Clarkson Evans is working with social enterprise Commercial Foundation to help young people who have previously encountered barriers to employment to help boost their chances of finding a job.
Young people on Commercial Foundation’s No Limits training and mentoring programme will take part in mock interviews at Clarkson Evans’ head office in Gloucester. The interviews replicate the real world as far as possible, with the ‘candidates’ preparing and submitting CVs and cover letters, liaising with the HR department and researching the company in readiness for the interview. Following the interview, the young people are given constructive feedback.
Commercial Foundation’s No Limits Programme Co Ordinator, Kareta Bradbury, set up the arrangement and says the benefits for young people are enormous.
“We spend around eight weeks with each young person, helping them develop confidence, self-belief and resilience as well as practical skills to enhance their work-readiness,” Kareta explains. “While we practice interview techniques in-house, working with an external partner makes the whole experience more realistic. Clarkson Evans totally understands our goals, and is very supportive both of Commercial Foundation and the individual young people.”
Bradley Griffiths and Robert Howell were the first two young people from Commercial Foundation to attend Clarkson Evans. They met Andy Wilson, Head of Apprenticeships and Development, before being interviewed by members of his team.
“We interview many applicants for our apprenticeship scheme, and felt we could share our expertise and offer value to Commercial Foundation,” says Andy. “Bradley and Robert are prime examples of young people who are keen and looking for work, but for various reasons struggle to achieve this. We hope that lending our support to give them interview experience proves worthwhile. Every young person deserves an opportunity to succeed and Clarkson Evans is proud to help Commercial Foundation.”
Robert and Bradley both said they felt nervous before the interviews, but their training kicked in once they were in the room. Bradley summarised it by saying: “I’d never had an interview before and didn’t know what to expect. But once the interview started I didn’t feel nervous any more. It was a really positive experience.”