Staff from a Sunday Times 100 Best Company to Work For went back to school to share top tips and employability skills with workers of the future.
Sewell Group, which has its headquarters in Hull as well as offices in Leeds, York and Huddersfield, is the only company in Hull to be named in the internationally-recognised Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list 2018 and is ranked number one in Yorkshire.
The business also secured a Best Companies 3 Star ‘extraordinary’ accreditation, which recognises the highest standard of workplace engagement, and was awarded a special Engagement and Innovation award for its efforts during Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
Now, Sewell staff have visited schools across Yorkshire to share hints and tips on what a great place to work looks for when hiring new people, providing an insight into the world of work for students of all ages.
Natalie Larkman, from the Customer Care Team at Sewell Facilities Management, and Oliver Beckett, Management Trainee at Sewell Construction, visited South Holderness Technology College to give a talk to 30 year 11, 12 and 13 pupils during ‘Best Companies Day’ on Friday, March 2nd.
They are both former pupils at the school in Preston and carried out workshops and icebreaker tasks, as well as sharing what makes up an ‘employable’ person, what professional means, and why being customer-focused, positive, a team player and doing the right thing are key sought-after attributes.
Natalie, who left the school in 2007, said: “It was really exciting going back to my old school. I think it’s really important to encourage the next generation and talk about life after school.
“It’s great for them to know what makes up a best company to work for and we talked about our behaviours and our culture, which extend to all areas of work and life.
“First impressions are so important and I hope they took away lots of useful tips from our session, which will hopefully help them in interviews when they leave school.”
Sewell Group is a multi-disciplined group of companies operating across the Yorkshire region. From its developments, construction and facilities management operations, to its 13 Sewell on the go fuel and convenience stores, the Group aims to create value for its communities and deliver a world class service for its customers.
Best Companies is the number one specialist for workplace and employee engagement in the UK and its survey, which was completed by Sewell staff, helps to form the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For list.
Sewell Group, which currently employs 460 staff, has entered the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For four times in the past decade and has been successful in making the top 100 every time, with the business doubling in size during the 10-year period.
The school workshops took place across the region, touching on various points including the importance of communicating and listening at work, being friendly, approachable, considerate and supportive, doing the right thing by communities, having a ‘can do’ attitude, going the extra mile and caring about customers.
Neil Pinder, Acting Deputy Headteacher at South Holderness Technology College, said the workshop was incredibly useful for the students, most of whom are aged between 16 and 18 and are preparing for further education and the world of work.
He said: “Our students consistently achieve excellent A-level results and progress to high-level professions.
“However, the opportunity to train in those ‘soft skills’ of communication, empathy, teamwork and emotional intelligence are of real benefit to our students. We find that when delivered by professional partners such as Sewell Group, they have a real impact due to their obvious skills applications.
“The 30 students involved today have really benefitted from this bespoke training and have become more confident in understanding what employers are expecting from them.
“The professional skills they have picked up will sit well against their academic abilities and give them every chance of success in their prospective careers.
“We really appreciate the time and effort Sewell Group staff have given today and congratulate them on their well-deserved accolade.”
Year 13 student Luke Turnbull said: “This event has shown all students how to conduct themselves in the best possible way in the workplace and what employers are looking for in effective team players.
“I feel this will help me personally when I apply for jobs, as it has given me real-world experience of what attributes companies like Sewell are looking for in their employees.”