Wholesaler AF Blakemore’s volunteers have helped a record-breaking 1,500 students prepare for the world of work with practice interviews so far this financial year, the company said last week.
To date employees from across Blakemore’s central function and Retail, Trade Partners, Logistics and Wholesale divisions have donated more than 150 hours of work time to helping school pupils across the West Midlands and South Wales improve their interview technique and CV writing skills.
This year’s support of 1,500 students has far surpassed the 934 students supported during the 2013/14 financial year and the 594 supported during 2012/13.
Practice interview events, which form part of the wholesaler’s award-winning Education Matters programme, aim to provide school students with the practical, real-life advice and support necessary to successfully enter the job market or higher education.
Each student is allocated a business volunteer who discusses their CV, conducts a short interview based on a fictional job role and then provides feedback offering advice for future interviews.
AF Blakemore community affairs officer Liz Bell commented: “We have a longstanding commitment to education and it is important for us as a business to provide the next generation of employees with the skills, attitudes and attributes needed to enter the world of work.
“In addition, practice interviews can provide a great development opportunity for colleagues to improve their own interview skills, which can then be utilised in the workplace.”
The company’s support of practice interview sessions looks set to continue throughout the remainder of the school year, with attendance of seven further events already planned between April and July.
Meanwhile, Blakemore also reported that its wider community programme was going from strength to strength, with employees across the group of companies having already volunteered a total of 6,213 hours of work time to good causes so far during the 2014/15 year, already surpassing last year’s 6,068 hours.
Blakemore Foundation has already exceeded the £150,000 that it awarded to good causes via monetary and in-kind donations during the 2013/14 financial year, with this year’s running total standing at more than £160,000.