Laura Batchelor of John Lewis has worked at John Lewis Plc for 13 years, beginning as an HGV1 driver, working in Personnel for four years as a Development Coach and then as Catering Section Manager for six years. Today she manages two sites and is a Food Safety tutor. Recently
Laura took part at a Career WorkOut at Oakhill Secure Training Centre.
“I have been working with Worktree since I was in Personnel. I’ve supported sessions in mainstream Schools and with mock interviews with young people who were not in education. I decided to attend the Career WorkOut at Oakhill STC because it was a different environment. I felt this was the next step”.
“Each young person was there for a reason, whatever that may be. As a parent I was sympathetic towards their situations. Some young people are brought into a world where a life of crime is all they know. I can only imagine how I would have felt if it was me in there, how would I have coped? If two hours of my time could be spent giving just one of them some encouragement that makes a difference to them, it is two hours well spent.
“Some of the group showed a real interest and willingness to do better for themselves and had goals for what they want to do when they are released. It was great to be able to tell them what I as an employer would look for. They need to want to change, know how to change and have the support in doing it. Some don’t know how to or don’t want to change themselves but they are young. These are the ones we should try to inspire to change. We can’t win them all but they are our next generation so we should try!
“Being involved in this session made me appreciate my life, family, communication, freedom and sense of purpose every morning. I have interviewed someone who has been through this system before but didn’t discount him due to his history as he was qualified, willing, able, had a great personality and had turned his life around and that in my eyes shows true resilience. This experience will ensure I continue to judge people on the right things for the right reason.”