CBS Student of the Year 2017

CBS Student of the Year 2017

Year 12 student Lavonne Ndlovu recently undertook a weeks’ worth of paid work experience at Coventry Building Society, having been awarded Student of the Year in the 2017 ‘Employability Skills’ programme run in partnership with EmployabilityUK and the Society across 10 Coventry based schools. During this time, Lavonne gained invaluable exposure to marketing, strategy, product and communication departments, and visited London with the Society’s media team. She was also tasked with delivering a presentation to the team at the end of the week, and hugely impressed them with her professionalism. A fantastic achievement and very well-deserved! Both Coventry Building Society and EmployabilityUK agreed that Lavonne has a very bright future ahead of her, and she herself paid tribute to the skills learnt from undertaking the ‘Employability Skills’ programme:

‘The people involved in the programme are incredible. They always brought out the best in me whilst helping me on my areas of improvement. I learnt a lot about myself and identified a lot of strengths I did not know I had’.

 The tailormade ‘Employability Skills’ programme has been designed to support the missing pieces often lacking in recruitment and development of young people, and offers an opportunity for students to gain transferable employability skills that are not career path specific:

‘I think the programme is excellent in pushing students out of their comfort zone and exposing them to real life scenarios in a supportive environment. A unique well thought out programme that offers students an array of great opportunities to build on their employability skills.’ (Claire Worrall, Sixth Form Learning Mentor, Coundon Court)

The 2017 programme took place over the course of six months and involved nearly 200 Year 12 students (16-17 year olds) and more than 130 Coventry Building Society volunteers, trained by EUK to deliver the programme sessions. Involvement in the programme enabled volunteers from across the business to work together, forge new relationships and gain new skills:

‘The Employability programme delivers key skills to students at a time when they most need them, filling a gap in the current curriculum. Acting as a Team Leader on the programme not only allowed me to develop my skills and share my experiences, but gave me a great opportunity to watch the students develop and learn key life skills that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.’ (Simon Dodd, Volunteer Team Leader, Coventry Building Society)   

The programme consists of twelve sessions including employability skills (behaviours and attitudes; corporate values etc), a workplace visit to the Society’s Head Office, CV skills, interview preparation, mock interviews, presentations skills training and student presentations. Furthermore, students undertake workshops in communication, teamworking and networking at the celebration event, as well as taking part in a real-life networking session with professionals from the Society and EUK. Student feedback included:

‘If you really want to develop yourself as a person then you must do this programme once in your life’

‘The best, most helpful course the school has ever done’

EmployabilityUK is very proud of the successful partnership with Coventry Building Society and the benefits it has brought to the Year 12 students on the programme and to the Society in terms of talent pipeline, including 7 students being chosen to take part in the Society’s internship programme. Similarly, schools involved have expressed their gratitude for this kind of provision being made available to them:

‘The EmployabilityUK Programme delivered by Coventry Building Society is excellent and of a very high quality.  The experience of the students has been one of considerable insight into the transferable skills required in today’s workplace.  We observed our students improve their confidence, organisation and maturity during this experience which will benefit them significantly in their future.’ (Hemaxi Natali, Director of Learning Post 16, Foxford School)