This is ‘giving something back’ in more than any monetary sense, it’s giving a wee bit of yourself to shape a young person’s future

I am very proud of my company for what we have achieved and how we support Career Ready.

Who are you?

I am Simone Lockhart, Managing Director – Scotland for Search Consultancy Ltd.  Our head office is based Glasgow and we have offices throughout the UK, including six in Scotland. I’ve been given the Career Ready Volunteer Award, proudly supported by Citi, for Scotland in 2017.

Why did you get involved in Career Ready?

We were approached by an old Search colleague who had moved on to work at Morgan Stanley and through her own involvement in Career Ready (as a Mentor and a member of the local LAB) she saw a great fit with Search.

As a large recruitment company, Search is always involved with identifying skills, therefore gaps, in the market and where better to start that discussion and involvement but at a grass roots level – while people are still in education.

We are often asked to support initiatives in charity, community and business but this opportunity ticked all the boxes and I couldn’t think of a better way we could use our skills and network than helping expose young people to the world of work.

What has been your biggest achievement in Career Ready?

I wear two hats within Career Ready, one as Chair of the Glasgow LAB and also as one of 10 mentors within our organisation. My mentee was one of our first five interns to join the company in the summer of 2016 and I can say without question one of my proudest days was the day at the end of the four week internship where they presented about their time at Search.  

Five very different young people stood in front of us, their parents and other members of the Career Ready family and they were outstanding. Confident, articulate and so supportive of each other – they entered as ‘kids’ and left as ‘young adults’. There may have been a proud tear - or two - shed by a few of the audience…

Why would you recommend supporting Career Ready?

I am very privileged to be so immersed in the programme – there are honestly too many to mention but the one thing that always stands out to me is that I think as employers we have a responsibility to our young people. We need to help and support schools and education to know what we need and what the world of work looks like, so we might create the right skills, behaviours and attitudes for the future.  

It’s an amazing experience to work with a young person who is not your own – you are potentially the first person to enter their ‘professional network’ and I take a huge amount from that – giving a young person that exposure and opportunity is a privilege as well as a responsibility. This is ‘giving something back’ in more than any monetary sense, it’s giving a wee bit of yourself to shape a young person’s future.

How does it feel to be recognised as a Volunteer of the Year?

I have to admit, I was a bit overwhelmed. You don’t get involved with Career Ready for any other reason than it does great things for young people but I am going to use it to champion the programme! Thank you for this – I am very proud of my own company for what we have achieved and how we support Career Ready.

We need to support schools to show what the world of work looks like so that we create the right skills, behaviours and attitudes for the future.