The Prince’s Trust 'Get into' programmes, powered by Elevator in Aberdeen, are about to get back into full swing after a summer break. 'Get into Retail' with Marks and Spencer and 'Get into Hospitality' with Premier Inn, both start on the 14th September, so Lynne from our Projects Team gives you a 'behind the scenes' peek at the recruitment process for the programmes.
Spring and autumn are the busiest times for our 'Get into' programmes in Aberdeen, but that doesn’t mean that I get to take the summer off!
With the new Retail and Hospitality programmes just around the corner, I have a lot of groundwork to do to raise awareness for the programmes.
I start by getting in touch with agencies in Aberdeen that work with young people in our 16-25 age bracket, advertise the courses on Gumtree, and get the word out via social media. I want to make sure as many people across Aberdeen are made aware of the opportunities, so earlier this month my colleagues and I dropped leaflets off at community centres around the city, and on the 15th of August we’ll be at M&S in the St Nicholas centre to raise awareness of the programme there, so drop by and say hello!
When someone decides they are interested in the 'Get into' Programmes, all they have to do is get in touch and their 'Get into' journey begins with the following steps…
Interviews for 'Get into' are usually held at Skills Development Scotland on Union Street, as it’s a central location that many young people in the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are familiar with. These interviews are really informal, really just a chat about the programme when I find out a bit more about the candidate, their ambitions, and how 'Get into' can help them get there. If the programme is right for the candidate and vice versa, then they are invited to the next stage of the process.
'Get into' taster days are brilliant to run as they are designed to bring out the best in the candidates. There are loads of activities that are specific to the sector that the programme is targeted at (I’m not giving away my recruitment secrets, but at the end of some days it looks like an explosion has happened in a Blue Peter studio!). Taster days are another chance for the candidate to see if the course is right for them, and allows the businesses we’re working with to meet the young people and select those that will be a good fit for their business. Those successful at taster day move on to start their 'Get into' journey!
It’s important to me to give candidates who weren’t right for the programme feedback so they can work on their areas for development. Too often people don’t hear back from interviews and it can be demoralising- especially when that’s your first experience of applying for work. All feedback is constructive, and young people are always welcome to come back and try for the programmes again in the next recruitment wave. Some have, and have earned their place on to programmes the second time around. Persistence pays off!
It’s all very well and good me as the project manager telling you about how good the programmes are, but it’s much better to hear it from the young people themselves. Below are a few quotes from our Aberdeen 'Get into' graduates.
‘It has changed my life. If I didn’t have this, I’d probably still be in bed now!’ Andrew Brown- 'Get into Retail' 2014
‘Thanks to Lynne and The Prince’s Trust. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the programme, so again thank you for everything’.
James Forbes pictured during 'Get into Oil and Gas' 2014.
After taking part in the programme James went on to win the 'Most improved 1st Year Apprentice Award' at Tullos Training’s ceremony in June 2015.
Conor McLean- 'Get into Retail' 2013: “'Get into Retail' gave me an opportunity to join a company that I would maybe not have had in the past.”