A Call to Arms!

David Millar MD Heap & Partners Ltd

With youth unemployment now sitting at 22%, todayís school children need all the help they can get. Whilst Government has a major role to play, business must also step forward to help, you canít just expect someone else to sort it out. You need to do your bit.

The schoolís need to prepare their students for the jobs market. Itís up to business to step up to this challenge and help out. In turn you and your company will benefit from doing your bit to help out. Letís face it, if we leave this problem to the politicians weíre doomed!

There are a number of areas that you can help out:-

Career days
If you attend a careers day you will note the presence of the armed services, universities and some quangos but precious few private companies. Heap & Partners attend careers days to answer questions about manufacturing. The students in many cases donít know what career path to take. In these instances, they are keen to gather as much information on as many and varied careers as possible. This is where private companies need to talk about their particular industries. In terms of time itíll take a few hours, but it will act to promote your business in the community and if you are looking to recruit then it may even be an opportunity to identify the best students. Be prepared for some very odd questions, they will keep you on your toes!

Work experience
To help students get a better CV, work experience can be invaluable. It gives them something to talk about in an interview and will help their CV stand out from the crowd. There are a number of different formats for work experience from one day a week for eight weeks, to a solid block of five or ten working days. Apart from supervision time, a work experience scheme costs the company nothing.

The employer should not expect to get anything from a work experience student other than goodwill, but the student should expect to at least get a flavour for each department in the company and the functions they undertake. At Heap and Partners the students typically enjoy the assembly work far more than the office work but to ensure we provide a well rounded placement we plan for them to spend time in every department. Often we will also give the students a marketing project to undertake during the week so that they can drop onto the project if they have any quiet periods.

Training - interview techniques
Your local School will have a list of training requirements that they would like help with. For instance we have given a talk on interview techniques to a group of sixth formers facing their first interviews. Typical training session will only last an hour but can be invaluable from the students point of view.

Whilst you may well have sat through countless interviews (on both sides of the table) they have yet to undergo one. A daunting task, but one that you can help with. We have produced a crib sheet that we give out to the students, if you want to see the sort of basic points we cover then you can download a copy from our web site. See www.heaps.co.uk/our-world.php and look for the section on schools. Itís royalty free, the only thing we ask is if you can improve it please send us a copy so we can use the new version. Itís pretty basic stuff, obvious even, but basic help is better than no help at all!

Factory tours
Some schools want to take their students on factory tours to give them ideas about different industries and career paths. Itís well worth opening your factory up as you never know the potential benefits to yourselves. We used to take groups of girls from a local school (from memory they were aged around 14 - not a natural group for engineering). However some years later we got a letter from Cambridge University, it was from a girl who had been on our tour and wanted a summer job. We provided that and she ended up spending some time working for us developing new products. Being the high flyer she was, she ended up at MIT in the States, but not before sheíd done invaluable work for us. Itís not all one way!

Promotion of manufacturing
One of our underlying aims is to promote manufacturing, itís vital we attract the brightest and the best into the only sector that can truly turnaround this countries fortunes. It may only account for 12% of GDP but it makes up 55% of our exports and how else will you pull money into our economy, through borrowing? Great Britain in still the 6th biggest manufacturing nation in the world - that puts something like 188 countries behind our tiny little island. Weíre proud of the new products weíre launching that are ďMade in Great BritainĒ you should be too.

This country canít afford to wait for the politicians to sort out the mess weíre in. After all, they helped make it! Business has to do all it can, your business has to do all it can, and you have to do all that you can.

Heap & Partners Ltd
Tel: 0151 488 7222
Website: www.heaps.co.uk

Published in Valve User Magazine Issue 21

Summer 2020 // Issue 53
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