Steve Craven, General Manager of NST Travel Group, is a Carer Ready mentor and winner of the Citi Volunteer of 2017 Award for the North West. Here, he shares her experience of mentoring and how he has been able to give a young person the skills, confidence and experience to kick-start a successful future.
After attending an annual end of year awards presentation at Blackpool Sixth Form College I was really interested to hear students presenting on their involvement with the programme.
It struck me that there was an increasing gap between academic capability and the skills required for young people to enter the world of work. A real “you don’t know what you don’t know” situation, and one I was keen to get involved with and help in.
I care passionately about having a lasting positive impact on the lives of young people. It is the essence of my business and it feels great to have played a part in taking that further, beyond the sphere that we work within.
Expanding students’ horizons and unlocking their potential is incredibly satisfying and I believe the programme is an excellent way to achieve this.
Students are fearful about making the “right” choice at 18 and they really need a support network and some help and guidance in a safe environment. The programme provides this bridge between education and work and goes a long way to fill that gap in knowledge or at the very least demystify it a little.
At a practical level supporting the paid internship programme has been hugely beneficial for the students we’ve taken through the business. Mentoring students has not only benefited dozens of students but I’ve seen my staff develop as they engage with the students. The ethos it creates is one where we always try and say yes to opportunities and I’m very pleased that I’ve managed to facilitate both.
Young people with ambition, hopes and dreams for the future are infectious and I would urge anyone to get involved. Undoubtedly you will find it fulfilling on a personal level but you might be surprised by the knock on benefits it creates within your own businesses.