Andy Street tells Children’s Trust apprentices: “I’m sure you’ll be hired”

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, has kicked off the 2020 Mayor’s giving appeal with an apprenticeship skills workshop for Birmingham Children’s Trust and an Edgbaston Foundation bat give away with Warwickshire captain Will Rhodes.

Earlier this week West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street joined young apprentices and their mentors from engineering firm Jacobs to see future members of the region’s workforce make an online ‘pitch’ on behalf of their most important product – themselves.

In conjunction with ‘ME Plc’ and Birmingham Children’s Trust, Jacobs have been running a series of virtual employability workshops on 21st and 22nd September to support apprentices under the care of the Trust.

Andy Street tells Children’s Trust apprentices: “I’m sure you’ll be hired”

Stuart Cain CEO of Warwickshire CCC and Will Rhodes Warwickshire Captain

The workshops were designed to help the apprentices enhance their interview skills and to develop a ‘self-brand’ that can be used to sell the new-found skills and qualities they’ve developed through their time with the Trust.

After the workshop the youngsters were given the chance to develop a 29 second ‘pitch’ about themselves that would help them stand out from the interview crowd. Most of those involved over the two-days presented their pitch to the Jacobs mentoring team. But seven lucky young people were given the chance of giving their pitch to Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.

Speaking after the event the Mayor said: “This excellent workshop shows just how much can be achieved when a business lends it’s support to our vital charitable sector – using skills developed in business to help those being helped by charities. That’s exactly what Mayor’s Giving Day is all about.

“One of the most important products you have to sell in life is yourself. I hope these workshops, give youngsters the skills, and more importantly the self-confidence, and to aim high in their careers. Their pitches definitely inspired me to keep up the work we’re doing to bring more good jobs to our region, as we work to recover from the impact of the Coronavirus. I’m confident that with support of this kind, the seven youngsters will soon hear the words ‘You’re hired’”

“A massive thank you to Jacobs, ME Plc and the Birmingham Children’s Trust for helping to get this year’s Mayor’s Giving Day appeal period off to a great start.”

Dan Hickman, city growth director for Jacobs commented: ‘We are immensely proud to be part of Birmingham’s Biggest Family with the Birmingham Children’s Trust and being able to partner on initiatives that have a real impact on the lives of the most disadvantaged children and young people of Birmingham.

“As an invested stakeholder in the Midlands we strive for inclusive growth, so taking part in this year’s Mayor’s Giving Day and launching the virtual ME Plc initiative with the apprentices from the Trust has been a real privilege.’

Will Rhodes and Andy Street ‘virtual’ bat give away to local youth groups

Earlier in the build up to the start of the Mayor’s Giving appeal, the Mayor teamed up once again with the Edgbaston Foundation for their Bat Giveaway – which hopes to ensure that lack of equipment is not a barrier preventing kids from staying fit and active.

The bat giveaway helped launch the Mayor’s Giving Day in 2019 and this year’s partnership between the Trust and the Mayor will see 1000 bats and 500 balls distributed across the combined authority including neighbourhoods and communities near Edgbaston Stadium.

At the launch of this year’s bat give away, Andy Street joined Warwickshire cricket captain Will Rhodes, CEO Stuart Cain and Head of Community Engagement Ravi Masih, for the virtual hand-over of bats to four local charitable organisations.

Speaking after the giveaway event, Andy Street said: “This year’s bat giveaway had to be very different from last year’s because of social distancing rules. But that didn’t stop us from celebrating the work of some many excellent youth groups around the region with this ‘virtual’ event.

“The support the Edgbaston Foundation provide to some many groups is fantastic, and I know that those youngsters who got to chat with Will Rhodes and the team today will have been thrilled. So, thanks once again to him and the team for their support for Mayor’s Giving Day.”

Acknowledging the Covid-19 challenges faced by many businesses, this year’s Mayor’s Giving Day is different. Not a single day event as previously, but the day the Mayor kicked off a series of events over coming weeks with an appeal to ask all businesses to do their bit for the local charitable and voluntary sector.

Speaking after the skills workshop and bat give away events about why this year’s ask needed to be different, the Mayor said:

“As our region renews it’s fight against the Coronavirus, so that we can continue to save lives and protect livelihoods, the role of our voluntary and charity sector has never been more important.

“Here in the West Midlands there are countless stories of volunteers and charities stepping up to that challenge. Helping communities come together to support one another and those most in need through these challenging times.

“And with many people worried about their family finances and many firms facing an uncertain future, the challenges faced by our charity sector are greater than ever. Not least because of the social distancing rules preventing charities from holding their usual programme of events.

“So, that’s why, even in difficult times, it’s important we all do our bit where we can to offer our support. And that’s why – despite all the difficulties some parts of our local economy is facing – we’re ploughing ahead with our Mayor’s Giving Day Appeal. Asking the business community to do it’s bit for our charity sector.

“But with things so very, very different this year, this year’s Giving Day isn’t just about one day. It’s not just the one day when we ask businesses to host events to raise funds or provide practical help for local charities. It’s the day we make the ask. I’m looking forward to joining more great events like today’s skills workshop. And I’d urge every office team and business to think about what you could offer to our brilliant volunteers in the charity sector over the coming few weeks. Sharing your skills in a workshop – or doing something fun to raise much needed funds.”

The bat giveaway is available to view on Youtube