To highlight National Care Leavers Week 2022, the Entry to Work Team hosted their first Career Insight Day for Care Leavers from across Essex. The aim of the day was to discuss career pathways into Essex County Council (ECC) and techniques to break down barriers to employment.
Key speakers on the day included Councillor Ball, Melissa Jiggins from Children and Families, Julie Auger and Emma Cavanagh from Essex Youth Services, Georgia Micallef and Amy West from Procurement and Johanna Smith from Entry to Work. The day was also supported by Siobhan Goss from Matrix who discussed imposter syndrome and how to build resilience, both in and out of the workplace.
Each key speaker highlighted a different topic to the audience, including lived experience of being a care leaver and the winding pathway to success, ECC’s Co-Parenting strategy and The Essex Pledge to children in care and care leavers, the career development opportunities in their particular business area, entry routes and support available for applicants under the job interview schemes within ECC. The audience also completed an online assessment to show their signature strengths and challenging areas. This gave an insight into career opportunities that suited their natural talents.
During the day, the audience were immersed in interactive activities and quizzes, such as the ‘Resilience Tree’ and ‘I’m Unique”.
A pizza lunch was kindly provided by Essex Youth Services as well as a MacBook for the audience to take away with them, much to everyone’s amazement! To demonstrate ECC’s commitment further, all audience members were offered work experience placements within the speaker’s teams.
The day was a great success with 100% of the audience confirming they would recommend the day to other Care Leavers. At the end, the individuals were asked what part of the day they found the most interesting. Below are some of the comments we received:
“Julie as she was understanding and just knew how to relate to my past”
“Resilience – because it showed me it is a big part of life and to focus more on positives rather than negative”
“The day helped me understand that my past doesn’t define my story”
To demonstrate our continued commitment to early years recruitment and levelling up, there will be more Career Insight Days in the future, so if you’re keen to know more, then get in touch with the Entry to Work Team on firstname.lastname@example.org