I saw Career Ready as the perfect opportunity to create a pipeline of talented new recruits

The rewards for the company included increased capacity, new insights and most importantly, a sense of determination and positivity in the office. 

Who are you?

My name’s James Brayshaw and I am the Managing Director of Winshaw. I’m a Local Advisory Board member and mentor at The Windsor Boys’ School and recently provided an internship for George Lawrance who we have kept on as an apprentice – the first of many, I hope.

How did you hear about Career Ready?

Windsor Boys School were just starting the programme when I got involved a couple of years ago. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to start building a partnership between my company and the school. 

I attended a couple of briefing sessions, met Career Ready staff and mentors from other businesses and quickly signed up to help. 

What motivated you to get involved? 

I got involved for two reasons – firstly, Winshaw was growing very rapidly I knew that I needed to invest my time and energy into building a motivated workforce. I saw Career Ready as the perfect opportunity to create a pipeline of talented new recruits. 

Secondly, I had a desire to give something back to the community in which I live and work. One of the most important relationships that makes the programme a success is the regular LAB meetings that bring together representatives from the school, Career Ready and the mentors and businesses involved. In the first year we were very much finding our feet but the progress that quite a small group can make is astonishing.

How did you find your first experience of hosting an intern?

You can see positive change in people very quickly so you can see first-hand that you are making an impact. 

Each student is looking for something different, even if they do not recognise that at the start, and so the variety the programme provides in terms of workplace opportunities means that no two interactions are the same. 

Would you recommend hosting an intern?

Yes – I don’t feel that I can complain about a lack of talent or skilled staff if I am unwilling to help in the training and development of young people. 

I would recommend taking on an intern with the door open for a subsequent apprenticeship as it makes business sense to take on individuals who have the right attitude and are prepared to learn.

What were the rewards for you?

I encourage students to take an open-minded approach to a career that doesn’t necessarily have to involve university. I hope I have been able to demonstrate that it is possible to break the mould by following one’s passions – be that photography, drama, law or sales. 

I must also say I have learnt a thing or two and have been amazed at the entrepreneurship and creativity shown by the students I have worked with. 

And what about the rewards for your company?

The rewards for the company included increased capacity, new insights and most importantly, a sense of determination and positivity in the office. 

In eight weeks, George had carried out valuable market research, helped win one new client and engaged with the local community and with local businesses. As a result of this hugely successful and enjoyable experience, we were delighted when George took up our offer to join the team as a Digital Marketing apprentice and look forward to the coming 12-14 months and beyond.