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Building My Skills: Chris Gardner On TBI's Involvement With Esh Group's Award-Winning Programme

Tilly Bailey & Irvine Law Firm's Chris Gardner explains how he and the firm have worked with Esh Group's award-winning 'Building My Skills' programme to help North east business professionals...

I first became involved with Esh Group’s award winning Building My Skills programme a little over a year ago when I assisted in delivering presentations on interview skills with a colleague. Tilly Bailey & Irvine had been supporting this project alongside Esh Group for a number of years, but at the time I was unfamiliar with the programme.  Fast forward 12 months and I have seen first-hand the invaluable benefit of the scheme. This is the first part of a short two-parter to highlight the incredible work Esh do in running the programme, and why Tilly Bailey & Irvine is delighted to continue to support and be a part of it.

The programme is designed to allow students from across the North east to engage directly with business professionals. The sessions take the guise of informal presentations whereby business representatives provide impartial careers guidance in order to assist students in their ongoing development. Esh invite partner businesses, such as Tilly Bailey & Irvine , to deliver five ‘checkpoint’ sessions across the year, culminating in a full-day ‘mock interview’ event. These checkpoints include presentations around personal finance and online appearance, and for Tilly Bailey & Irvine a focus on preparing for interview.

Esh Group’s goal for the scheme is to help young people ready themselves for the world of work and life outside the relative comfort of school and compulsory education. The programme is not aimed at only those that wish to embark on a professional career – but rather to provide real life practical guidance on employability skills. It is not long since I have been through the interview process, both in relation to my current position with Tilly Bailey & Irvine and my previous employment and therefore hoped to impart some of my own recent experiences on the students. We have all been there, and I am sure it is not just me that would say we would have benefited from someone more experienced offering a few points of advice along the way.

This year I have taken the lead for Tilly Bailey & Irvine  in delivering the 2018 / 2019 programme and I was lucky enough to visit and present to three schools in Teesside: Egglescliffe School, Northfield School and Huntcliffe School. It was quickly evident how much the students had all bought into the programme and engaged with all of the business representatives and the spirit of the programme. Next week the programme culminates in the Building My Skills Mock Interview Day and I, along with my colleague SherReene Cheah, are extremely excited and grateful to be given the opportunity to attend and help to bring this year’s programme to a close.

Tilly Bailey & Irvine take its role as a significant employer and focal point of the communities we work in extremely seriously. This is an important part of who we are and forms a major part of our recently announced strategic growth plans and investment in the firm and its people. We continue to support many local charities and providing support to Esh Group on the Building My Skills programme is an obvious partnership for us to help generate real improvement for the Teesside and Northeast regions and the people who live and work here.