Karen Buck

Working hard for Westminster North

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Assistance for Jobseekers Day

It was my great pleasure to host an event on the 10th of July aimed at young people not in employment, education or training. With the support of CH2MHill, we worked together with HR professionals to deliver a couple of really productive sessions to the 50 or so young people from the area who attended. The first session focused on CVs and how best to communicate your skills clearly and effectively to potential employers. It is always amazing how even a few changes will make a difference to your CV and get you noticed.

Lunch provided a chance for attendees to have a look around the stalls. We have some great organisations for young people in the local area and some fantastic people - Gareth Owen from the Volunteer Centre, Chris Joseph from the Westminster Adult Education Service, and Richard Spencer from Westminster Council's Sports Unit in particular, who gave brilliant presentations.

We also had representatives from the Princes Trust, the London Apprenticeship Company, Vital Regeneration, JobCentre Plus and City of Westminster College. All offered a wide range of opportunities open to young people - apprenticeships in the music or finance industry, or more personalised help with CVs and interview practice.

The afternoon session focused on how to succeed at interviews - getting over nerves can be difficult, but we learnt that you can never prepare too much for an interview. Thinking about the questions you are likely to be asked and writing down answers can help - even saying them out loud so that in the interview you can aim to speak clearly and confidently having gotten used to the feel of saying the words.

Massive thanks go to Tina Rycroft from the Plus team who gave the presentations, and of course to our excellent stallholders who were so helpful in answering young people's questions and giving them advice. We were also able to put on a prize draw with donations of 2 vouchers, each for meals for two, from Bayswater Nando's.

I'd also like to say a special thank you to staff at Sainsbury's in Ladbroke Grove who donated some sandwiches for lunch, and to Waitrose in Bayswater for their generous additions of drinks, crisps and biscuits for the event.

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