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OPERA rebrands as Thrive In Work and partners with REED

OPERA has rebranded as Thrive Youth Trust.


Esther O’Callaghan, Thrive Youth Trust’s founder, commented, “We would like to thank all of the companies and individuals who have made it possible for over 550 young people so far to be supported into work.


“Our decision to change our name was to make our purpose and beneficiaries clearer.


All individual donations to the Thrive Fund continue to provide small, but life-changing bursaries for disadvantaged young people to break down the financial and practical barriers they face accessing employment. 


“From a first month's travel pass, a pair of shoes, a birth certificate - through to tools, training and equipment, your support makes it possible for hundreds of young people to turn their lives around.”


Thrive In Work is the partner social enterprise for Thrive Youth Trust. Thrive In Work is the product of two and a half year's work with the recruitment and staffing industry looking at the practical ways to make it possible for young people to find, gain and stay in employment.


REED has partnered with Thrive In Work to pilot a Thrive In Staffing pilot in Northampton. Here, the company explains why:  


Why did REED decide to partner with Thrive In Work?


“Reed has recently expanded its Graduate Scheme Team to become the Early Talent Team so that we can help individuals begin their career in recruitment through a number of different routes. One of those being our Internship Programme, where we can help people who might not have the relevant experience move into the industry and receive industry-leading training. REED decided to partner with Thrive to help reach young people who might not have heard of the opportunities available so that we’re able to help them develop and start their career.” 


What are the three main outcomes you hope the Thrive In Staffing programme will achieve?

  1. “Increase diversity within the work place. 
  2. “Provide young people with opportunities to gain office based experience. 
  3. “Secure fresh talent to help assist with our ever-growing business.”


In what ways do you feel partnering with Thrive In Work benefits REED as a business?

“Partnering with Thrive benefits REED as a business as it allows us to find candidates who we may not have found otherwise. It allows us to engage with young people in the local area and help us to continue putting focus on our Corporate Social Responsibility, something which we’re proud of and continue to invest our time and efforts into.”


How important do you think it is for businesses to practically engage with local young people to support them into work?

“Very important. Young people are our future and it’s important that we provide the right opportunities to them to help them grow professionally. We also believe we can learn a lot from young people, particularly as technology advances and the need to be creative and stand out in a competitive market grows.”


REED is a large company.  Do you think it is easier for larger companies to engage in employing young people or do you think it is something a business of any size can do?

“We believe it’s something that a business of any size should do. However, we appreciate that a lack of experience from young people may require more resources initially (time, staff, training) which may make it difficult for a smaller business to engage in employing young people. However, once over the initial difficulties during training, you often have a motivated and hard-working employee who can bring energy to the role and is always looking to develop so it’s definitely worth the time and effort.”


What are some of the hiring challenges you have faced with young people?

“Lack of understanding of what the role will actually entail. We like to have chats with the young people who apply to our roles so that they can gain a better understanding of the role they’re applying for to make sure it’s right for them and that they enjoy it. It’s important that they’re happy with us so we want their expectations of the role to match the reality of it.”  


What are some of the successes you have had with hiring young people?

“2018 has seen us take on our first intake of Undergraduate Placement Students. The age range of these students is between 20 and 22 and we are often receiving feedback from management that they are an asset to the team and a pleasure to have in the office. We’re hoping to get the same positive feedback from our interns from Thrive when we begin recruiting for the Internship Programme in Northampton.”


As HR and staffing professionals and experts, do you see young people as an important part of REED as a business and your clients?

“Absolutely. Young people are often driven and enthusiastic and constantly looking to improve and develop their skills. As a business, we are also looking to improve and develop our ways of working all the time so having young people who are as motivated as us is important as they’ll be able to grow with the business and bring new ideas to the table.”


To get your business involved with Thrive In Work in your area, contact: piers.collins@thriveinwork.org ​


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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