Charityworks highlights 2: Learning and development Author: Martin Fletcher     
Date: 19th September 2016

In the second in the series of posts reviewing the 2015 Charityworks scheme you can read about the exciting learning and development opportunities on offer. Here, some of the recent graduates talk about what the scheme taught them!

What you can learn on the scheme

Last time, last year’s current trainees talked about their scheme highlights. For many the numerous learning and development chances the scheme offered were a big hit. In this second post in the series, you can find out a little more about learning and development on the scheme.

There is a huge amount of training and development built into the Charityworks scheme. Trainees are assigned a mentor and a peer coach. They join regular learning sessions called cohort days. They complete two pieces of original research and join conferences.

On the placement side, trainees can benefit from the advice of their supervisor. They also have access to other learning routes that their host employer provides. Altogether, this makes for a really strong offer. Trainees shared thoughts on what their key learnings from the scheme were.

Some of these were really specific and practical. Others, were far more general. Common to all is their reflection of the vast and diverse range of learning offered by Charityworks.

Charityworks: specific learning

Some trainees have had really technical training. Izzy, a trainee at The Brandon Trust learned video editing and how to put participants at ease. Suzanne at Origin Housing, picked up some really useful practical skills in project management techniques.

Claire’s role at Futures Housing was an ideal chance to develop finance skills. From someone with no finance background, in a year she has built confidence and knowledge. This has culminated in her starting an ACCA accountancy qualification.

Charityworks learning days impart useful knowledge too. These sessions cover things like careers and CVs, finance, management and many topics. Jamie, at Acclaim Housing, remarked on these, as did Claudia, a trainee at the LGBT Foundation. Claire too, felt that these sessions would be really useful in future.

Charityworks: wider learnings

For many trainees, technical training, however important was not the most important thing they learned over the 12 months. There were general lessons too. Jamie adapted quickly to a restructure just 3 weeks after starting. Looking back, he values the ability to cope with ambiguity he developed.

Several trainees felt the scheme gave a real confidence boost. For Suzanne, a key lesson was that adopting an active, can do attitude, can allow you to achieve great things. Conversely, it can be all too easy to identify an issue, but then wait for others to step forward to fix it. In Claire’s case, she learned from regular contact with senior leaders that she could be a confident advocate for her ideas.

Others noted the importance of learning how to build networks. Many people may find the idea of ‘networking’ a little cringeworthy. But, as Claudia pointed out, she soon learned how effective networks can be to empower you to deliver. These networks included fellow trainees, her coach and wider professional networks.

Outside the world of work, you often rely on yourself to deliver. Once in work, you have to deliver with others as part of a team. Claudia felt this lesson was a really important one that she got from the scheme.

Lastly, the scheme teaches you a lot of practical things. If you relocate, you learn about how to thrive in a new role and settle in an area where you may not have any contacts.

Charityworks get involved!

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