Working in partnership with EmployabilityUK, our staff deliver a programme of activities in schools across Coventry. In 2016, the programme helped 100 students to prepare for the world of work. Students cover topics like how to put together a CV, how to prepare for an interview, and presentation skills. They also visited our Binley-based offices, discussed employment etiquette and took part in interactive sessions about networking skills.
Around 70 members of staff volunteered to take part and were matched to an activity that best suited their skills.
Anna Cuskin, the Coventry’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, said:
"We already have an extensive volunteering programme in schools, offering activities from regular reading and maths sessions with primary school children, to one-off money-management workshops for secondary school students.
As a large local employer, we're proud to be involved with EmployabilityUK to help pupils gain vital skills for when they leave school.''
The first group of students graduated from the programme in July 2016. During the special ceremony, we announced our ‘Student of the Year’ - Londina from Stoke Park School.
Londina said: ‘'I've learned so much. The CV session and interview techniques were the most useful workshops and helped me get myself a part-time job!’'
In 2017, we’ll be rolling out the Employability programme to engage with 10 schools and up to 200 students. It’s going to be bigger and better and will make a difference to more young people.
We want to give as many students as possible the opportunity to access our CV writing skills workshops. Our HR department often say that the best people for the job are placed in the ‘no’ pile because they haven’t checked their spelling or grammar. These simple steps can make the difference when it comes to landing that dream job.
Our hour-long sessions are available to schools within our branch network area. Our volunteers visit your school armed with activities to help students give the very best account of themselves, ensuring their CV is never in that ‘no’ pile due to poor formatting, grammatical errors or a quirky pink font.
Our staff will talk about their own experiences, giving students the tools to avoid making classic mistakes, and top tips on how to give a strong first impression.
We want to give students the chance to experience a mock interview so they know what to expect and how to deal with those tricky questions.
During these sessions, the students apply for a job by completing an application form and providing a CV, then our volunteers will put them through their (supported) paces during an interview. The students will be coached on key skills like keeping eye contact, making sure you’ve done your homework about the company you're applying to work for and backing up your CV with examples. At the end of the interview the students are given constructive feedback and, where necessary, tips on how to improve.
Many of our employees have taken time out of their busy schedules to visit secondary schools with the aim of inspiring young people to consider a career in financial services.
Not everyone has a clear idea of the job they’d like when they are 16, or even when they are 30. By listening to staff talk passionately about their career and the choices they’ve made, young people can see how our staff have worked hard to reach the role they're doing now.
Face-to-face with fraud
Every day, our dedicated Financial Crime department protects our business and our customers from fraudsters. We run sessions that raise students' awareness of fraud and financial services, helping to protect students from the risks facing them which could have a massive impact on their future financial position.
Better ways to budget
Throughout the year, our volunteers deliver 'financial awareness sessions' in schools. They use topical and relevant subjects to make it interesting and useful for young people. We use a range of interactive sessions to show students how to make better financial choices and learn about 'value for money'.
Away from the classroom, we also have volunteers who want to make a difference by enhancing the physical environment of schools. So far, we’ve helped to create wildlife gardens including the construction of bug hotels, developed a pond-life area for science lessons, painted fences, planted vegetable patches, pulled weeds, and cleared brambles. You name it, we’ve done it. We’re more than happy to roll up our sleeves and create safe outdoor spaces for young people to enjoy at school.
Can we help you?
Do you work at or represent a secondary school that's within reach of one of our branches? We'd love to help you educate and inspire your students, or use our volunteering time to benefit your school.
Get in touch with us: firstname.lastname@example.org