Wednesday 19th July saw over 20 young people from across B&NES and Wiltshire come to The Rec for a careers day unlike any they have taken part in before. The Princes Trust, which offers free training courses to help 16-30 year olds joined forces with the Foundation’s HITZ programme which uses sport to raise confidence and help 16-19 year olds find employment education or training. Together, they organised a careers day which saw over 40 volunteers from local businesses offer their time and their skills to give advice to vulnerable young people.
Representatives from local businesses including the Ministry of Defence, Nine Feet Tall, Bath Rugby, Coventry Building Society, Apex Hotels, Bath University, Curo, Julian House, Archers Marquees, RGS, Coachmakers, and GLL Leisure Centre sent representatives to act either as a mentor or to conduct interviews for real life job opportunities.
The day started with young people paired with a mentor for the morning. The mentor gave them one on one support on how best to prepare for an interview, as well as exploring their interests and ambitions. Young people and mentors then took part in a couple of team building exercises to express the importance of teamwork and communication – important values on and off the rugby pitch! In the afternoon, interviews took place in the Clubhouse at The Rec with some candidates receiving follow up interviews or job offers for the future.
Anthony Dutton, owner of Archer’s Marquees, said, “I run Archers Marquees, and we’d been exposed to the great work the Bath Rugby Foundation do when we employed a couple of the guys on the programme to help put up match day marquees at The Rec. I was privileged to be able to help at this event: I find it heartbreaking how many young people get such a ‘bad deal’ in life through no fault of their own, but this experience will inevitably mould the rest of their lives unless the cycle is broken. I’ve seen first hand how capable many of these people are, they simply need some guidance and encouragement, and an opportunity. Fortunately my business offers me a framework where I can help them to get their lives moving in a more positive way – I’d encourage any business owners to take the time to give someone an opportunity – often their hunger to succeed can be an amazing positive to have on your side as an employer.”
Jake, a participant on the HITZ programme, said, “Today has been great. It was the perfect opportunity for me to fulfil my dream of becoming a rugby coach. I spoke to Liz from Coachmakers and Zoe from Bath Rugby. We’ve shared details and I will be getting in touch to set up an interview. It’s really exciting!”
Bath Rugby’s Tom Dunn, HITZ ambassador, was also on hand to offer words of encouragement and advice to the students prior to their interviews. He said, “It’s great to see so many of the students dressed so smartly – they look so professional! Giving them opportunities like this is such a brilliant thing and I’m proud to be HITZ ambassador because of all the great work the programme does. These young people are brilliant – some of them just need a helping hand to get on track.”
Paul Short, Bath Rugby Foundation HITZ ambassador said, “It’s been a brilliant day here and huge thank you to all of the local businesses who have came here today to support our young people. Some of them are walking away from here with genuine job offers, which is the best outcome we could have hoped for. I’d also like to thank everyone from the Princes’ Trust for coordinating the session and helping us to host the day.”