With a long standing commitment to the West London community in projects that help local young people find their way into work, we are delighted to have supported a number of community activities in recent months.
First up is Charlie Hearn who has recently become a permanent employee of the company following a one month work placement with us. Arranged through our partnership with social enterprise Cultivate London, Charlie is an excellent example of how this charity is helping young people develop new skills and find opportunities to get into work. Asked to describe his experience, Charlie states “I found out about Cultivate London through the job centre last year. I did a three-month course with them, in Level One horticulture – learning about things like different plants, how to look after them and how they’re grown. I liked that it was very hands-on, and I also got to do things like building polytunnels at the site on London Road. After two months at Cultivate, I went to work at Walpole Park in Ealing for a month. I was still training while I was there, but I was also getting to use what I’d learnt. Then Cultivate called me to ask me about whether I wanted to try a work placement at Octink.”
The rest is history and Charlie now commands a warehousing assistant role where he ensures our factory is kept as safe and as tidy as possible. This is clearly important to Charlie, who is meticulous about his work: “Even if the warehouse seems clean at the end of the day, I’ll still have a go again, just to be sure!”
Asked about Charlie’s appointment, Adrienne Attorp, Cultivate London’s General Manager is keen to stress that “these placements are vital in helping us to reach some of our training goals for the young people with whom we work.”
We’ve also recently partnered with the Hounslow Education Business Charity, Spark! to host a group of Year 10 students from Feltham Community College at an Industry Insight Day aimed at introducing young people to the world of work and the display and graphics industry. In addition to learning about the different kinds of roles and career paths in our industry, and finding out how their school subjects link to the world of work, we split students into groups to complete a fun challenge. This involved brainstorming ideas around how Octink could use graphic designs in homes, before evaluating these using a SWOT analysis and finally selecting and presenting their best idea.
Andrew Dakers, Director of Spark! says that industry insight days like this one are all about changing the lives of young people by opening their eyes to opportunities in industry and giving them insight into Octink as a place to work. “We work hand-in-hand with companies and our partner schools, to design a day that is not only inspiring and informative for the students involved, but which the company can then use as a template for future industry insight events to inspire even more young people.”
For us we have called West London home for more than 50 years, so continuing to work in partnership with the community will continue to be part of everything we do.