PCH staff give up time to mentor students

Our employees have once again signed up to mentor sixth form students at a Plymouth school.

PCH is taking part for the third year running in the Career Ready Mentoring programme to help pupils at All Saints Academy on their journey from school to the workplace.

Communications Officer Joanne Cochrane, IT Systems Analyst Steve Griffiths, Assistant Housing Officer James Hocking and HR Business Partner Clare Poulter have all volunteered to support a student for 12 months.

During the year, the students will meet with their mentors, who will provide them with advice and support and give them an insight into the do’s and don’ts of working environments.

As well as monthly meetings with their mentor, the pupils will also take part in a six-week work placement.

Clare Poulter said: “Not working in a role that comes into contact with tenants, I thought it would be a good thing to do to help support the community.

“When I was at school I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career or what the world of work even looked like – my dad worked, but didn’t really talk much about what he did or what it was like.

“It’s good to be able to provide someone with some insight into this along with helping them to know what kind of things employers are looking for when they apply for jobs.

“For PCH, it adds to our Values of People and Place, supporting those that live and work in and around the communities that we support.”

James Hocking added: “When I saw the opportunity to take part in the mentoring programme, I thought it could provide a very rewarding experience for both the mentee and also for me.

“I know that when I was that age, I would have benefitted from some guidance particularly in terms of accessing and understanding the world of work; hopefully I can help develop my mentee’s confidence in finishing secondary school and progressing onto new challenges.

“I think it’s great that PCH are involved in schemes such as this as we can provide an insight into a wide range of professions that students might have otherwise been unaware of.”

Steve Griffiths said: “I see this as an opportunity to pass on more than 25 years of experience of working life, interviews, attitude and goal setting etc so that I can help students develop into an asset for any position they choose to do. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to develop as a mentor and learn how I can better help others.”

Helen Jarwood, the Career Ready Co-ordinator at All Saints, said: “The Career Ready programme is a unique opportunity for Year 12 students to work with a business mentor in order to gain invaluable knowledge and advice on CV creation, interviews skills and advice on how to develop their employability skills.

“By working closely with their mentor, students have the opportunity to learn about their mentor's career journey which can help them with their own career choices in the future.”

Other local organisations taking part in the Career Ready Programme include Foot Anstey solicitors, the Royal Mail, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust and Princess Yachts.