John Davies, the Managing Director of Poole-based security solutions manufacturer TDSi is taking part in a Student Mentoring scheme for Sixth Form students at The Bourne Academy in Bournemouth. The scheme aims to provide all the students with a local business expert as a mentor to help them develop skills that will help in their post-studies careers.
John Commented, “The Student Mentoring scheme at The Bourne Academy is an excellent way to give students a feel for the business world, how it operates and what is expected of them - as well as the vast opportunities that await. The role of the mentor is to not only pass on valuable life-skills but also to raise aspirations and show students how they can realise their career potential.”
The Bourne Ambassador Mentoring Scheme is a valuable opportunity for the young people involved, as Vicky Woodings, Raising Achievement & Lifelong Learning Co-Ordinator at The Bourne Academy explains “The rationale behind the scheme is to offer students real-world benefits and help with skills that will help them find a career when they leave education. Many of our students come from deprived areas, where career aspirations are sometimes lacking. We also know there are certain skills shortages for businesses in the area, so we aim to match students and local businesses leaders such as John, making our students more employable and helping to meet these shortfalls. Mentors can assist with basic skills such as putting a CV together or help with interview techniques, so the learning process can be done in a friendly and supportive environment. They can also give honest and constructive feedback so students know how to appeal to potential employers.”
Currently 32 students at the Bourne Academy are engaged with a broad range of local volunteer business mentors each having around six meetings a year. John Davies is mentoring local Engineering student Mateusz Zalewski, who has a keen interest in developing a career in the industry. Vicky Woodings adds, “It’s really helpful for students to have adult assistance from somebody who is successful and at the heart of the local business community, as well as teacher and parental support. Hard work is the key to training for the right career, but grades are only part of the equation and this support from the business community is invaluable in this process.”
John Davies concludes, “I think a lot of the help we can offer students is instilling what I’d call ‘Business Sense’. This will involve being in a business environment, taking students along to business meetings and showing them how the culture works and what they can expect. On the theme of youth training, TDSi is also a keen supporter of Apprenticeships. The company took on three new apprentices at the end 2013, across our Finance, Product Development and Operations teams offering support in a number of different business and engineering disciplines. It’s a really nice way of putting something back into the community and offering a positive influence for the next generation of business leaders.”