George Mangan, a Project Professional apprentice who helped coordinate the event said: “The day was a real success and it was great to see so many of the students go away enthused by what they had seen and heard.
“The idea behind the event was to expand our local resource pool, as even though they are so close to Abbey Wood, many of the students from these schools weren’t aware of DE&S and wider civil service apprenticeships.”
As well as the outreach event held at Abbey Wood, DE&S Project Professional apprentices have also been taking part in a school mentoring programme and mock interview days in an effort to strengthen ties with the local community.
Alexandra Smith, who works as a Project Professional Apprentice at DE&S, said: “We wanted to run a pilot mentoring programme with Bradley Stoke Community School, which involves 12 mentors from DE&S, selected from applicants from the Project Professional graduate and apprenticeship schemes, and 12 mentee volunteers from the school.”
The scheme officially launched in September and the 12 pairs are meeting for sessions on roughly a fortnightly basis.
The benefits are expected to include increased awareness of DE&S and the development schemes it has to offer, improved reputational standing of DE&S within the local community and personal skills development among the mentors.
Over 150 year 12 students from Abbeywood Community School and Bradley Stoke Community School have also benefitted from DE&S mock interview days organised by Project Professional apprentices, Christian Davock and Zoe Tonks.
Over two days more than 50 staff from DE&S, ranging from graduates and apprentices through to 1* level came together to produce a realistic mock interview experience for those students about to embark on their career choices.
The day received overwhelmingly positive feedback, with one students commenting: “I would just like to thank everyone who supported this event, it’s been a unique and amazing experience.
“I know from talking to the students that they found this day incredibly rewarding, and really feel as though they can take a lot from this event, so I would just like to emphasise that, and hope you come back next year.”