Carl’s Story // An Employer Perspective


Talent RISE is passionate about changing the lives of young people who have experienced barriers to employment. To do this, we provide education, training, life skills and employment opportunities, helping young people RISE UP to their full potential to gain independence and purpose. 

One of the young people we have had recently helped to secure employment is Carl Cairns. With our support, Carl managed to gain meaningful employment with Talent International, via the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.

The most powerful opportunity an employer has is to embrace the potential of young people. We spoke to Marc Parker-Hughes, Talent’s ENGAGE & Systems Support Manager, to get an insight into an employer’s perspective on the benefits of RISE. Marc is working closely with Carl, guiding him through his new role and supporting his journey as a new starter. 

What made you want to get involved with RISE in the first place?

I think it’s going by Talent’s ‘Give a Damn’ motto across the business. It’s something close to my heart, I wanted to be able to lend myself to Talent RISE. I just wanted to help people get into the industries they wanted and my background is varied and that gave me the opportunities to wear various guises and roles. It shouldn’t just be because you have the experience, it should be about the drive and passion as well. You should be able to be allowed to prove yourself. It’s a challenge also which is fun. 

What is it about Talent RISE that makes that process easier for you?

I suppose it’s the guidance, they don’t just guide employees, RISE also guide the employer and make you understand how to adapt and account for people who don’t necessarily have a clear cut background or set of skills. They help narrow down what a candidate does have and doesn’t have and the potential they have most importantly. The team works with you to look outside of the traditional box, making it easy to see how you can make a difference to people. 

What about Carl made him the right fit?

He is inquisitive and asks the right questions, he is a swift learner, you don’t want someone who needs to be spoon-fed, he has the drive to want to learn. It’s not all about teaching him to be technical, it’s about finding someone you want to bring out of their shell, Carl admits himself he can be shy but after six months I expect he will be a lot more comfortable in an office, around people and such and building soft business skills.

How has Carl had a wider impact on office culture?

Despite being shy, Carl had great feedback after our first Office night out, it was nice to see him integrating. He was networking, speaking to the management team, the senior consultants and everyone. They all felt he was gelling well so I think that’s a great start with room to improve!

What do you think the future holds for Carl?

Carl’s future is in his hands, I can’t control that future but I can guide him but what he does and what he works towards is all down to him. He can take the advice and complete the tasks and help self-learning, there are possible opportunities at Talent. I just hope that this experience, even outside of Talent with apprenticeships and companies, will provide him significant experience with a UK and EU presence and give him the experience to go to these opportunities confidently. 

For more information, get in touch on /placements. To see what Carl had to say from an employee perspective, click this link to go to his Q&A.