In January 2020, Superdrug became an official partner of Drive Forward, and provided placement opportunities in key roles across head office and pharmacy.
2019 saw the start of this rewarding partnership. We kicked off by attending a couple of ‘Interview Prep & Pizza’ events with members of Superdrug’s Access All Areas social mobility network, which was a fantastic introduction to the initiative.
During the Summer of 2019 we were delighted to offer five 8-week paid placements to talented care leavers, via Drive Forward, in our Croydon head office and one of our pharmacy stores. Andre, Mercedez, Carla, Tanisha and Pedrena seized the opportunity and took up roles within five different teams. They also benefited from attending short courses and an employability day to boost their career prospects. Our line managers were provided with excellent training by Drive Forward before the placements began, enabling us to offer their young people full support and integration within the business.
My fondest memory of working with Drive Forward was attending one of their Pizza and Prep nights – I saw the direct impact I had from being able to coach and guide a young person, through to giving them tips on how to perform in an interview situation. All of the young people were super-passionate and grateful, it was truly rewarding!
Lucy Denny – Talent Acquisition Advisor
We are delighted to have welcomed several of our Drive Forward applicants back! Carla returned as a valued temp, and Andre accepted a full-time tole as part of our Robotic Automation Project after he completed his degree.
As for many of us worldwide, 2020 looked a little different thanks to Covid-19. Whilst our placement programme was based remotely, we were committed to ensuring that the important connections and skills that it provides weren’t lost.
The first thing we did was enable our team members to be in contact with a young person from Drive Forward remotely. Next, Brian, our People and Programme Manager, shared his Excel skills with 17 care leavers via virtual training sessions. Our Senior People Manager, Caroline, even used her birthday as a fund-raiser for Drive Forward, asking friends and family to donate instead of buying a gift!
So many highlights so far! Seeing Andre become a full-time IT genius within our business is hard to beat. Overall, working with Lucy & the team at Drive Forward has been a fantastic experience for myself and long may we continue to support young people into work.
Brian Rackham – People & Programme Manager
Looking towards the future, we plan to recruit young people into our business later this year, through the government’s Kickstart programme. We’d like Drive Forward to be at the heart of this, to ensure as many young people as possible from their organisation can access this scheme. Other plans include practical work experience for Drive Forward’s young people at our Covid-secure head office. The global pandemic has had a powerful negative impact on work prospects, so we are committed to broadening and expanding our programme of support moving into 2021.