By Paige Cahill, People Advisor

Back at the AGM in May, Co-op announced that as part of the Safer Colleagues, Safer Communities campaign, we’d be sponsoring the Damilola Taylor Career Search and Skills Development programme.

The aim of the free 3-month programme is to help young people (aged 17-24) with little work experience, learn skills to help them make the transition to stable and satisfying employment. It also forms part of the Damilola Taylor Trust’s wider ambitions of providing young people with these opportunities to play, learn and live their lives free of fear and violence.

I’m part of a team of people here at Co-op who’ve had the amazing opportunity of being part of the programme working with the Damilola Taylor Trust and their delivery partner HUDL.

Six of us, who you can see in the picture above, have just ran the first of a series of development days looking at CV writing. We started the day by getting to know all the 30 people on the programme and their stories were so humbling. We could instantly see the potential and aspiration in the room but the lack of guidance, role models and awareness of the job market that these young people faced. And that was preventing them from either getting a job in an area they want to build a career or getting a job at all.

We’re a team of people who have all had experience in hiring people and supporting colleagues through their careers. So, we spent some time sharing our skills by looking at what a great CV looks like, what employers are looking for, how to structure a CV and looked at some examples of what great looks like. We then spent the afternoon having one-on-one coaching conversations with each person, developing their CV and drawing out their experience and what they wanted to get from their future careers.

I was so proud to have the opportunity to give back in such a positive and meaningful way and it was great to see each person leave with more confidence to go and get what they want from their careers.

What’s great is that we’ve all stayed in touch with the people we’ve supported. One girl who had her one-to-one session with Jamie (Resourcing Partner) told him that she’d been turned down for lots of jobs in retail. Jamie talked to her about her interest in the Co-op and helped her focus her CV on the behaviours Co-op recruit for rather than her previous experience, which was limited. She updated her CV which he then helped get to the right place. We’re absolutely delighted that she’s now working part-time in one our London stores and looking forward to getting to know Co-op even more!

We’re looking at interview skills next so I’m looking forward to sharing another update with you all in the new year.

Co-op colleagues involved and pictured above are Paige Cahill, People Advisor, Daryl Sutcliffe, Jamie Payne and Nick Rodgers from the Resourcing Team and Kristian Blount and Naomi Barnett, Area Managers.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. This is such a great example of Coop doing what they do best. Seeing and hearing some of the stories behind each of the youths leave me humbled and grateful for the opportunities I have been given in life and a desire to support this campaign wherever I can.

Comments are closed.


Being Co-op, Community, Do what matters most, Great place to work, Show you care, Succeed together