A little know fact about Ringley is that we have University and Schools work placement program that runs every week and most weeks have at least two young people working within us learning life and business skills
This week we have a little fun with for students who joined us the part of their course from Westminster College
Nathaniel in our facilities management department was the mentor assigned to these four young people. Put politely, some in the group lacked motivation, work readiness and enthusiasm was low but we wanted them to learn something memorable from Ringley to stand them in good stead. So, we decided that we would put them in the shoes of a would be employer and give them an opportunity for some critical self reflection.
On their last day with us you, we invited the young group to the Boardroom for some brainstorming. In truth you could see that some of the group has started winding down before well before lunch. The brainstorming exercise we gave them was to list skills, attributes and behaviours a would be employer would look for.
The expected list of punctual, reliable, motivated, respectful, helpful, courteous, and few more soon was emerged. We then turned the conversation to the behaviours that were not acceptable - soon the truth hit home that playing on a mobile phone, listening to music through headphones (as soon as a Manager is not looking) were not work place behaviours. They got to learn that a business has eyes and ears
Having produced this list, we left the room having given the group 20 minutes to write a reference for their manager to sign - using as many of the words they honestly could from the board. It soon became apparent that they would be unable to use words that they had not demonstrated during their time with us. All still managed to put together references demonstrating some positive points, but the look on their faces when they realised that most of the words that would really mean to something to an employer would have to be omitted was priceless.
I enjoyed sharing with the group that no matter where you are, or for how long, you should make sure that you learn whatever you can from everyone around you. We also shared with them that Ringley recruits apprentices and have sponsored a number of people all the way through university as well as offering training contracts in accountancy, computer programming, building surveying and law.
The leader of the pack left with a cheerful "thanks Miss" waving his reference in his hand. We hope that over the next weeks and months all of the group will reflect on the fact that their references could have been so much better - we hope a valuable life lesson was delivered.
Author : Mary-Anne Bowring
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