Things are on the up in Hull

I normally keep my posts quite generalised, focussing on my own writing journey or employability in general but with some great news in my wonderful home City of Hull today, I felt compelled to be a little more specific for a change.

I’ve lived in Hull all my life and honestly couldn’t imagine ever living anywhere else. It is a beautiful City with a rich history and a business and education community that I have come to know and love for it’s “Can Do” attitude. Whilst some of us have felt the rumblings of something great coming for quite some time, to the outside world and to those doubters within our community, Hull has been hovering around the wrong end of just about every league table going and has been seen quite negatively in the media.

Things are on the up though. We have a Building Schools for the Future programme which is changing the face of our many and diverse communities as well as the educational chances of the students. Improvements in health care and housing are just as evident. Two big pieces of news though are real game changers for the City of Hull. In November, Hull was announced as UK City of Culture 2017, something that came as a bit of a shock to those outside our great City who simply don’t yet appreciate what Hull has to offer.

Today’s news that Siemens UK have formally signed contracts which will see them, their partners and immediate supply chain invest £310m in our area feels to many to be the icing on the cake in turning round Hull’s fortunes. With a pledge of 1000 jobs at Siemens alone, it’s certainly going to have an impact on our region’s employment figures and will firmly position the Humber as the UK’s Energy Estuary.

With all this great news, with the construction it will bring and with the cultural events planned it’s easy to think that Hull’s prayers have been answered. The truth is though, the hard work is yet to come and no-one is able to rest on their laurels. An increase in jobs doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be filled by local people. With a shortage of the necessary skills, it’s likely that those with the expertise needed will follow the jobs – at least in the short to medium term.

With so much focus now on Hull, it has never been more important for our young people to understand their employability skills and how they translate into the world of work. There is a lot we can do to support young people, whether we are a parent, a teacher or are in business. It’s important that we celebrate and encourage our young people – not everyone will want to be an engineer or a performer but with such investment into our City, there will be opportunities for everyone to play their part, so much so that the list is endless. The thing is though, competition will be fierce so they will have to make sure they stand out from the crowd.

I’m sure there will still be many doubters, but there are many more believers in Hull and with their support, we can help to ensure that our young people are prepared for a much brighter future, a future they deserve but must equally work for.


Why Employability?

After two weeks back at the day job, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share a some experiences with you which have reinforced for me just why I have written ‘Employability What?’.

I’ve been working with three young people since being back at work and each of them has a story which is by no means uncommon.

The first of these is a young man I’ve just started working with who is doing a long term work experience placement in order to help build his confidence whilst studying. The feedback that I’ve had from those who know him best is that after just an informal interview and the first day of his placement, he is already seeing the benefits of working with business. We have a long way to go with this young man but I’m confident that by the time he leaves us, he’ll be more than ready for whatever his next step may be.

The second is a young man named Adam. I first met Adam as a Year 12 student in 2012 when he came to us as an intern via Career Academies. During his time with us, his employability skills developed at an unbelievable rate and it was amazing to see him grow and develop. The quiet young man who started with us was soon taking centre stage delivering presentations. Over the last 18 months we’ve continued to work with Adam on and off and are delighted to have him working with us on the Employability Charter @Emp_Charter on a voluntary basis until uni starts up again in February. He could have spent the month catching up with friends but instead he’s taken the opportunity to volunteer to do something that will ultimately help more young people gain employability skills whilst further enhancing his own and adding experience to his CV.

The third is a young lady with an incredible attitude to work. Until very recently, Deborah was one of those lovely Twitter friends you have yet to meet in person. She has an incredible array of skills and talents but is finding it tough to find work. It was when copy checking ‘Employability What?’ and in particular the section on experience that Deborah’s tweet flagged up asking if anyone could offer her work experience to help bolster her CV and maybe even lead to a job. It was this attitude that made me one of the first to respond and she’s now been with us for a few days, again working on the Employability Charter as we prepare to roll it out across the Humber.

From the young man still in education to Deborah who has a degree under her belt, all three are being proactive and are making themselves more employable but for me there are three things that we should all take note of:

1. Young people have a lot to offer to businesses, often due to the fresh approach or new skills that age credits them with. Adam rolled out our cloud based ICT system during his internship and Deborah has developed several forms of social media for the Employability Charter in just 3 days.

2. Regardless of age, support is needed to help people become more employable and this is something that more organisations can get involved in.

3. For every young person being proactive, there are an unknown number of others who risk falling through the cracks.

In talking to all three of of these young people I could relate so many areas of ‘Employability What?’ to what they were saying and can only hope that it can help more young people to develop their employability skills and be more prepared to enter the world of work.

Thanks for reading


Young People ARE Employable

As part of the day job, I often get asked to speak to young people about what businesses expect from them and yesterday was one of those days.

Having been asked to talk to a class of year 11 students at a school I know well, I was all prepared to talk them through the best way to prepare their CVs as I’d been asked to but taking a minute to read a few sections of my book, I decided to spend about half of the hour long session looking at employability skills instead. When the session got underway it was clear this was the right thing to do.

We’re talking about a school that really understands and promotes the importance of employability skills yet it was obvious that the students found it difficult to understand where skills they demonstrate in every day life will help them to get a foot on the career ladder.

Many of the students in the room had completed some form of work experience with some even being asked to return in one form or another yet realising that this was just the type of ‘experience’ a young person can put on their CV seemed to be a revelation for many.

It’s little wonder that employers report that they find young people lacking in employability skills but when you actually look at it, they often have the skills but don’t know how to convey it on their CV or in interview.

With this very fresh evidence as to the need, I hope that my book will help to show young people that they are employable. It guides them through each of the 7 key employability skills before focussing on pulling together their CV and interview techniques.

I’m pleased to confirm that ‘Employability What?’ is now available for pre-order with delivery to coincide with it’s official launch in March. Please contact me on hello@ann-newlove.com for more info.

Whether for your students, yourself, your own children or as a gift for work experience students, ‘Employability What?’ is a must.

Thanks for reading