Career Ready are a charity that offers a combination of group activities and employer engagement opportunities to prepare young people for the world of work. CONEL have worked with Career Ready for 6 years, offering students who successfully apply for the programme a mentor working in the sector they are interested in. This group of mentors work for household names, including Lloyds Banking Group, Santander Bank, HMRC, Pertemps Recruitment, Kaplan Financial and HM Treasury.
Students were introduced to their new mentors before watching a presentation by ex-mentee, Fatima Beedsay, who participated in the programme last year. She showed the new cohort the experiences they would be exposed to and the transferrable skills they would learn on the way. She rounded off her speech by saying: “This programme has helped me with many things especially my public speaking. After never doing any, three presentations later and I am here in front of you today.”
CONEL’s Programme Coordinator, Betty Benjamin told us: “This programme really sets students up for their future. Some students who have been on the programme before have gone on to university, apprenticeships and full time work. It builds confidence and opens students to the world of work, and is a great opportunity for them to start building their network.”
In their pairs, mentors and mentees then took part in an ice breaker quiz.
The event ended with a lunch, which was another opportunity for each student mentee to get to know their mentor and build rapport. Mentor Jane Penn, who was also part of the programme last year, said: “I think it’s a really valuable programme for both me and my mentee, I learn so much from them and it allows me to see what my mentee’s weaknesses and strengths are and help to build their confidence and bring them on to the next level.”
For more information on the Career Ready programme, or to be part of the next cohort, please email Betty Benjamin at BBenjamin@conel.ac.uk