Reach Society 2nd Careers Conference 2013
Charing Cross Hotel
Thursday 4th April 2013
Day 5 of Spring and it’s snowing and bitingly cold in central London. Inside though there’s a warm glow brightening up the Charing Cross Hotel which is a buzz of activity as hundreds of youngsters are queueing all the way down the grand staircase towards the entrance to get inside the Reach Society’s 2nd Career’s Conference.
Last year’s setting was wonderfully uplifting on the prestigious HMS President ship in St Katherine’s Dock, but this year far surpassed that, set amidst the luxurious splendour of a prime location 5 star hotel. This first class hotel was absolutely packed with young people and adult speakers, from the main hall to the various seminar rooms.
I was honoured to be invited back as a speaker for the day and thoroughly enjoyed my time talking to young people about how to enter and develop a career in Human Resources (HR). It’s interesting and a little unusual to be speaking about something which you do every day and can sometimes take for granted. I even had to explain what HR or Personnel was to two young girls who’d never heard of the profession. That was refreshing and there’s no reason why youngsters of 13 -14 should know really. I hope my colleague, Leon Neil, and I managed to inspire and encourage one or two people to consider HR as a career.
Alongside us, were Policemen, bankers, accountants, youth workers from Aces Project, Amos Bursary and 100 Black Men of London mentoring organisations. All there to inspire young Black boys and girls to realise their dreams or to just consider the wide range of career opportunities that await them when they leave school and/or further/higher education.
In it’s second year, the conference aimed to showcase a wide variety of career opportunities and visibly demonstrate a selection of Black men engaged in professional careers. It’s all too rare for this to be portrayed in the mainstream media and far, far too many young people do not know this and therefore have no natural role models upon which to form a basis that they too can enter into a professional career upon leaving formal education. I was touched by one young man who said until attending this he thought his only two options were “death or to go inside.”This was the first time he’d seen so many Black professional men and women in one room.
Fantastic. That’s what the event’s all about. The 100BMOL have a motto, “What you see is what you will be.” This conference more than demonstrated the powerful symbolism of the presence of visible role models. I hope all who attended were inspired and spread the word to their peers.
Our Story, By Us, For us! – The Story of British People of African Caribbean Origin
The new book, ‘Our Story, By Us, For us!’ written by Dr Dwain Neil, Dr June Alexis, Paula Neil and Dr Keith Davidson, was launched at the event by Lord Herman Ousley, Professor Trevor Williams of Derby University and Chief Economist, Lloyds Bank, with George Ruddock, Acting MD and Editor of The Voice newspaper.
The concise book takes the reader through a brisk history of British people of African Caribbean heritage, with a view to giving young people a sense of their history and with it a sense of pride, of self- esteem.
©Tiemo Talk of the Town
7th April 2013