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Q&A: Talent RISE UK Welcomes Hayley Wilkinson

14/12/2022

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. 

We’ve placed over 500 young people with employers globally, and to help us scale up our impact in the UK we have recently hired Hayley Wilkinson, RISE UK’s new Youth Employment Programme & Partnerships Manager in Manchester

We chatted to Hayley in her second week to learn more about her previous experience and what led her into working with young people! 

If you’re an employer in Manchester that would like to know more about the benefits of providing opportunities to young people, please reach out to Hayley: hayley.wilkinson@talentrise.org // 07415 903 647

Tell us a bit about your background before Talent RISE

Oddly enough, the role that set me onto the path of working with charities was when I was elected Vice President for our Student Union (and then President) at the University of Lincoln. I was able to lead the students’ union supporting students with a range of areas, which was the first time I really worked with ‘young people’ and their issues.

After that, I worked at the UK Eating Disorder charity ‘Beat’ – I was the regional officer at that charity which meant networking across the North West supporting the ambassador programme. This involved volunteers who had personal experiences with eating disorders helping the charity by working there and fundraising amongst other things. After two years there, I became their Business Development Manager. I worked to secure contracts to fund training programmes for NHS workers to educate them on the best practices to deal with an eating disorder. 

My previous job before joining RISE was as an Account Manager at an Educational Tech company called ‘Unifrog’ which was a careers destination platform where schools would subscribe to the platform and assist with students’ future prospects. This role required me to work with hundreds of schools across North West England, Northern Ireland and North Wales to support them with the platform. I was the point of contact for all of those schools and careers which was a great experience and set me up quite nicely to join RISE.

What sort of work are you looking forward to doing with RISE?

I’m looking forward to the mixture that the role offers in terms of working with both community partners [who refer young people to us] and employer partners who provide opportunitiesHowever, I am most looking forward to working directly with young people in helping them find opportunities, including by helping them with CVs and matching them with any opportunities that we have. I’m really looking forward to delivering workshops that increase their employability skills – I really love the training days and sessions!

I think the fact that RISE is a charitable foundation of a global organisation is different from where I’ve ever worked before – they are usually standalone. RISE is well supported which means we have stability and can utilise partners of the supporting company, Talent. There’s an awareness of youth unemployment within Talent and RISE itself that helps encourage and provide opportunities to the younger audiences.

I have also felt a huge focus from the charity and company staff on being well looked after – I have loved seeing some of the social content around neurodiversity that’s been put out, being neurodiverse myself it’s great to see a company acknowledging and being pretty hot on supporting their workforce.

What advice would you offer young people looking for employment? 

I think the biggest message is that there is nothing you cannot do. There is always a way into your dream career, no matter what anyone’s circumstances are – there is always support out there. Young people just need to look for the right support that will lead to these opportunities. 

Here at Talent RISE, we are super friendly so please reach out! There isn’t any judgement and the support we offer is adapted to anybody that wants support. It’s not a one size fits all mentality, and we will tailor your experience to your circumstances – whatever they may be. We work one to one and provide workshops so there are lots of ways we can support you. All you need to do is make initial contact and we can support you the rest of the way.

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