Recently, Jonathan Slater, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education – the top civil servant in charge of the department, volunteered on the Young Enterprise Employability Masterclass with students from New City College as part of the Careers & Enterprise Company #Giveanhour campaign.
The Employability Masterclass funded by Jack Petchey Foundation aims to help students learn from employers and employees about the skills and qualities that are required to be successful in the workplace and build a broader understanding of the routes to employment.
Here is what we had to say about his volunteering experience.
What did you enjoy about the day?
The engagement as a volunteer with the young people felt like it really did matter and I felt that I was helping the young people and making a difference. By the time the session finished it felt like the young people had got a lot out of day.
I was able to give them positive feedback about what they had to offer so it felt like it did matter that I was there engaging the students. It felt like I was working hard with the students to draw aspects out of themselves about what they have to offer.
To what extent were your skills and experience utilised?
Very much. It felt like it was helpful for the students to have the chance to talk to someone who employs people like them and to talk about what employers are looking for. I was able to open up their eyes to the skills they have and how they could be a great asset to an organisation.
Was the volunteering what you expected?
It was very energising to spend time with a group of students and feel like you can make a difference to their lives. The students were all great, they listened carefully and were engaged throughout the sessions.
Were there any standout moments?
At the end when the students realised they have something to say about their skills to a future employer. At the beginning of the session they couldn’t think of anything to say about themselves.