A UNIQUE partnership between Russell Taylor Group and a Wirral college is successfully setting young people on the road to the world of work.
Their career paths are now being forged due to a joint initiative that puts coaching and mentoring high on the agenda for pupils from St John Plessington Catholic College in Bebington.
Behind the technical recruitment company's link with the Year 12 pupils is Russell Taylor Group chairman Peter Russell, a keen champion of developing and nurturing young talent within his own organisation.
He said: “Learning and development is at the heart of this company's ethos and is a key driver of our cultural ethos.
“Apprenticeships and traineeships are all about learning on the job and it's here that coaching and mentoring play an important role in developing an employee's self-awareness, mapping out a job role that plays to an individual's strengths and then recognises success.
“However, it's a totally different, but amazingly rewarding, experience to go out into a local school, become party to the hopes and dreams of some of their young people and then help and inspire them on their career pathways.”
Peter's link with St John Plessington began in 2011 when Rachael McMahon, the college's head of work-related learning, held a business network event to encourage businesses to come on board and not only offer work placements for students but also to support them in other ways to help them on to the jobs ladder.
Rachael said: “A small group of companies became involved and our Business Mentor Programme took off from there.
“Benefits to students are immense; they gain confidence and become more self-aware, they gain an insight into another person's valuable life and work experiences and also have their horizons broadened.
“However, Peter sees his role as a mentor as bringing much more to the table. Some students already have an idea of what they want to do, others are less clear about a chosen career.
“This is where Peter puts his mark on the programme by personalising work placements at Russell Taylor Group headquarters in Bromborough. If a student is placed in one particular area but it turns out the placement isn't right, then other avenues are explored within the organisation to produce the 'right fit'.
“His network of links with other organisations and businesses have also seen students get those vital work placements with other people.
“A partnership like this is invaluable to us as a college but, more importantly, to the young people who need as much help and support as possible to make them fit for work.”