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Mentoring partnership sets vulnerable youngsters on road to employment

Posted by Georgie Betts on 12/11/2018
Becca Placement

A PARTNERSHIP between Russell Taylor Group and a groundbreaking youth centre is setting vulnerable young people on the road to employment.

Career paths once considered out of reach are being built due to a mentoring project with The Hive Youth Zone in Birkenhead, helping youngsters to develop business and enterprise skills.

Behind the technical recruitment company's link with The Hive is Russell Taylor Group chairman Peter Russell, a champion of developing and nurturing young talent within his own organisation who sees the initiative as a means of uncovering the hidden potential among Wirral’s disaffected youth.

He said: “Living in an area of high unemployment shouldn’t prevent any of our local young people from having a chance to gain the skills necessary to put them on the route to a job.

“It’s an amazingly rewarding experience to listen to the hopes and dreams of some of The Hive’s members and then help and inspire them on their career pathways.

“The mentoring programme gives business leaders a chance to change young lives for the better. It’s a way of instilling young people with the self-belief they need to forge a successful future and seeing the difference made to those whose potential may otherwise have been overlooked.”

Peter's mentoring role began when Russell Taylor Group became a founder patron of The Hive, a Birkenhead town centre state-of-the-art youth facility which, as part of its work among thousands of young people throughout Wirral, delivers the unique programme aimed at some of the borough’s most disaffected and vulnerable.

Volunteer mentors give one-to-one support over a period of between six and 12 months with the ultimate goal of enabling youngsters to take control of their lives and achieve their full potential. Their input has resulted in those on the programme growing in confidence, showing improved behaviour, gaining increased emotional resilience and developing aspirations and the motivation to succeed.”

As part of the mentoring programme, 24-year-old Becca Stevenson completed a work placement at Russell Taylor Group’s Bromborough headquarters where, under the wings of the company’s marketing team, spent time learning electronic design skills to help her achieve her dream of becoming a photographer.

She said: “What made the placement relevant and special was that Peter knew what my goals were before I started work – more than anything I want to be a photographer and I learned so much while I was at his company.

“Apart from the knowledge I gained, I really felt part of the team. Just having conversations in the office, getting my thoughts and ideas across has made me a more confident person.

“A lot of my fears about going to work are gone and, where I previously used to hold back and say nothing, I now know I can make a contribution without feeling scared of what others might think.

“Because others have faith in me, I am now beginning to push myself to achieve the career I want.”

Sandra Platt, The Hive’s mentoring co-ordinator, added: “Mentors like Peter can play a transformational role in the lives of young people who, for a variety of reasons, have become disaffected or lack a sense of purpose and self-confidence.

“These are people who, in some cases, have not benefitted from having a regular role model in their lives. Our mentors fill that void, helping them to believe in themselves and recognise they can achieve something, no matter what challenges they face, and ultimately become more resilient to tackle whatever life throws at them.”