Monday’s are rarely the best day of the week for any of us but, for me, last Monday was fantastic!
Myself, Sabbah Khan, also from Virtual school, and Harry Sandhar, from CLA and Care Leavers, took six of our young people along to O2’s HQ for an insight day, which had been specially tailored for them. If you’ve ever been to their office on the Bath Road, it’s a really inspiring environment – vast, all glass and pristine white beams – and our group were suitably impressed. And that was only the beginning…
The four hour session was a mix of several short, punchy sessions, which included talks from apprentices and corporate staff sat with our young people and spoke about their interests; also a CV writing workshop and interview tips. What really struck us was just how engaged our young people were and how confident they were speaking with corporate staff; they were focussed and had so many questions!
One young man was really keen to talk more with one of the apprentices at lunch but didn’t have the courage to approach him, so I did the connecting and he was away with the support of Sabbah on hand too to discuss about network engineering apprenticeships!
The feedback, overall, has been very positive; they could relate the information to other work. It was a truly enriching experience and really felt like we were hitting the ‘successful’ element of our vision.
As the group stood outside the huge, shiny building waiting for their taxis, with their O2 goody bags, they were buzzing. One of them even said, “this is where I’m going to be working in five years time.” That’s what I call a good result!
O2 really did pull out all the stops, with lots of staff being a part of the day’s activities and providing a great experience which I really hope will contribute to raising our young people’s aspirations and our young people becoming successful.
Sameena Rizvi is a Learning Advocate within the Virtual School at Slough Children’s Services Trust