Andy’s trip down under

Kati, Andy, Jane & Roger

I recently returned from an amazing trip to Australia and New Zealand. Since joining Talent RISE, I’ve had many early morning conference calls with my colleagues “down under”, but this trip was an opportunity to finally meet them face-to-face and see first-hand the amazing work they’re doing.

From London to Sydney and Melbourne

I spent most of the first day in the Sydney office where Roger, Amy and Saskia talked me through their model and systems. Between them and the rest of the RISE team in Australia they’ve now placed over 120 young people into meaningful employment, and getting the chance to learn from their experiences was invaluable.

I also sat down with Talent’s NSW General Manager, Matt Munson, who shared insights into how he and his team engage their clients to secure opportunities for young people. This is vital to RISE’s success and I’m keen to share my learnings with Talent’s staff back in the UK.

RISE’s community partners are also critical, so we ended the day with a visit to Weave who emphasised how much they value the continuous communication, flexibility and compassion the RISE team provides.

On Tuesday morning I boarded a 6am flight to Melbourne with Talent’s Founder and Global Chair, Richard Earl. Once there, we were joined by Roger, the inspirational Jane Tewson who sits on RISE’s governance board, and Kati Gapaillard, who’ll soon be heading up RISE globally. During a three-hour planning session we had some great discussions about RISE’s vision and objectives.

After the meeting Roger took me to visit another community partner, WhiteLion, who described the win-win that partnering with RISE brings to both sides.

Andy & Roger with Mark & Steph from White Lion

Lessons from New Zealand

Before heading back to the airport to fly to Wellington, I sat down with Talent Practice Lead Joelle, who shared more great tips about client engagement. I also grabbed a quick 10 minutes with another of RISE’s Youth Recruitment Consultants, Marisha, to understand the great work she does supporting young people – sorry it was so quick Marisha!Andy & Jess

Richard and I finally got to our hotel around midnight, so there wasn’t much downtime before Wednesday’s schedule began.

RISE only launched in New Zealand last year, so I was keen to sit down with Jessica, our Manager there, and see what lessons I could apply to our own set up in the UK.

One of my key takeaways was the importance of respecting local context while staying true to RISE’s global vision. I’ve learned from my work in the UK so far that this isn’t always easy, but Jessica is doing some incredible work with the support of Talent’s Country Manager Bianca and her team.

My head was now starting to spin a little, but happily the afternoon offered something a little different.

RISE’s work in Wellington mainly supports young Māoris and the whole office headed to the local Marae (or meeting grounds). Once there we exchanged greetings with the elders, aided by Troy who delivered an incredible whaikōrero (formal speech) in the local language. It was inspiring stuff, and I’ve copied the translated text of some of Troy’s speech below.

With greetings exchanged we were officially friends and were taught some traditional weaving using flax leaves. The afternoon was a real highlight of the trip and I was really touched by how much effort people had gone to.

On Thursday morning, Bianca generously gave up more time to share her perspectives on RISE before Richard and I headed to the airport to return to Sydney.

Talent Team visit to Meeting Grounds

Final thoughts and return home

Friday was my last day and I was keen to make the most of it. Mark Nielsen, Talent’s CEO for APAC shared his knowledge and experience of RISE, and I also got to meet Caterina, another of our brilliant Youth Recruitment Consultants.

Finally, I sat down with Marketing Manager Chloe to talk about some of our communications needs. I left with some amazing collateral and templates that I’m excited to start using in the UK – thanks Chloe!

All-in-all it was a hectic week, but an incredibly productive one. I learned so much from everyone I spoke to and as always, I was struck by just how generous everyone within Talent is with their time and knowledge. I’ve returned to the UK both fired up and grateful for the support – thanks so much everyone!

I’ll leave you with some of Troy’s speech from the Māori meeting grounds…

I greet you, the long burning flames of occupation
You who have welcomed us
Call, call, call us unto you

Who are we?
Talent RISE is the Sub-tribe
Talent are the people
And we all have been blown here by the four winds
I am Troy.

Great is the happiness and joy to meet you all
You, the pillars of knowledge
I greet you
We have arrived onto Ōrongomai
With the intentions of connecting/joining Richard & Andy
To the Māori world. And the desire,
A connection to these lands and its ways is created.

As said in my heart,
Fulfil the needs of the youth
For they are the leaders tomorrow