August saw twelve participants from Cat Zero undertake a month of paid work across Sewell Group businesses to give them valuable experience in a bid to help them into the job market. They were matched with different areas of the business including Facilities Management, Sewell Construction, Shared Agenda and Professional Services.
Harry Taylor, who joined the Sewell Construction team at his old high school, South Hunsley, said;
“It has been great to use this experience to boost our CV’s, but personally, I think it has done so much more than that. It’s enabled me to get into a proper working routine and not only learn a trade I might not even have considered before, but I’ve also learnt useful life skills which will be a great asset to me moving forward.
“I’ve been working closely with the brick layers and was able to lay the first foundation blocks to the new extension on what was my old high school!
“Being able to work for such a reputable company like Sewell, I have seen that they really do prioritise their people and the results show. I really want to continue learning as much as I can from the people around me and hope that I can see the South Hunsley school extension through to the end.”
Aptly named Gateway, the programme is just one of Sewell Group’s commitments to promoting opportunities for the communities in which it serves. It comes off the back of its Queen’s Award win earlier in the year, alongside further announcements of plans to triple its investment in graduates, apprentices and trainees over the next five years in support of local economic recovery.
Project Director, Claire Harrison commented;
“At the beginning of the year, we started looking at what we could do as a business to further support the economy post-covid, delving into what the local problems are, what we could do to address them and how we could make a difference to the communities in which we work.
“We decided to partner up with Cat Zero again, this time to offer paid work placements to a cohort of people who are looking to build upon their employability skills and resilience to get back into the workplace following a difficult year.
“We’ve seen the participants grow in confidence; some had an idea of what they wanted to do and have since discovered new passions along the way, others have learnt a lot about themselves and where they see themselves going next.
“It’s also a credit to our team who’ve buddied up with the interns, giving their time and providing guidance and mentorship for them throughout. I hope they feel a real sense of pride that they have helped these young people at a pivotal point in their lives.”
The programme concluded with a ‘Casting Off’ ceremony on Friday 27th August where the interns were presented with a trophy in celebration of what they achieved throughout their time at Sewell. Sewell staff who acted as ‘buddies’ to their selected interns throughout the programme also received recognition.
Pete Tighe, Programme Manager for Cat Zero added;
“I was so proud to see some of the interns able to talk on stage in front of their peers about their experience and sharing their visions for their future.
“The Gateway Programme has consisted of a mix of real-world experiences and motivational activities that have pulled the full team together from start to finish. From Cat Zero’s point of view, the programme has been a complete success and it will only develop over the coming years.
“On behalf of the whole of Cat Zero and its participants, I would like to say a huge thanks to Sewell Group; for enabling these young people, but mostly, thank you for caring. All involved should be very proud.”