Responsive Training Services Whitehaven Mentoring Circles

Making a difference through mentoring

Responsive Training Services Ltd, based at Haig Enterprise Park in Whitehaven, embarked on a new scheme with the Jobcentre Plus towards the end of 2019. Called Mentoring Circles, a team from Responsive, led by Mathew Tomkinson, ran regular sessions with seven young people from the Whitehaven area.  Seven young adults aged 18-24 years were involved and the success rate has been amazing – three of the seven are now employed and three more have gained interview opportunities.

Sue Shepherd, Employer Adviser for Jobcentre Plus in Whitehaven approached Responsive Training Services about the scheme and the company was keen to help: “Mentoring Circles bring together unemployed young adults from Allerdale and Copeland with volunteers from a company. Being able to go on site and get to know the business a bit is all part of the experience. Together the volunteers and participants have developed connections and relationships and then the team from Responsive has mentored and inspired them, building their confidence as well as their skills.”

The scheme is a tailored service, allowing Responsive to choose when, where and how the sessions would happen. This meant that the company could work around client work and fixed courses on their schedule.

Mathew Tomkinson, Mentor and Operations Director for Responsive Training Services said “The sessions obviously benefitted the candidates and their immediate successes were really encouraging for everyone involved. But the business gained some great feedback on our presentations and approach too. It’s all useful for the future.” 

Olivia Winter, Customer Service Apprentice with Responsive Ltd, based at Lillyhall, was one of the volunteers from within the company: “Helping to deliver and being involved in Mentoring Circles has been beneficial for me, not only in everyday life but also in my apprenticeship. It has helped me to fill gaps in my confidence as well as in my apprenticeship standard. Standing in front of a group of people I don’t know and sharing my career past and future would have been very daunting for me at the start of my apprenticeship – to be honest, it still was a little when I was asked to help with Mentoring Circles.”

Responsive Training Services Ltd is continuing to work with Jobcentre Plus locally and Mathew will be talking to a second Mentoring Circle in Workington very soon.

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