Longdean 2015 1 smallTwo Hundred Year 10 pupils from Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead took part in an Employability Skills day on Thursday 7th May organised and run by Connect Dacorum.  The pupils were in groups of 8 and each group had a facilitator from local businesses who had given up their morning to help the children with CV writing and interview skills.

All students were in the halls which instantly created a buzz. The event was interactive for the pupils – interviewing their facilitators, putting themselves in the mind of an employer looking at CVs for a new trainee graphic designer and critiquing them before moving on to looking in more detail at their own CVs and giving advice.  The second session concentrated on interview skills with mock interviews and also a fun “speed interviewing” game. The pupils came away with lot of helpful feedback and advice directly from employers about what they look for in a CV, covering letter and throughout the interview process.

Cindy Withey, Manager of Connect Dacorum praised the pupils and facilitators for a great day “this is the second year Connect Dacorum has organised this at Longdean School and it is great to see how much both the pupils and facilitators get out of the experience”.

The pupils also completed a feedback sheet at the end of the day with all of them of them saying that it was really helpful.  One wrote “I found out the key points of how to be employed and what is needed in your CV. And interviews, always prepare for an interview and think about what employers are looking for”.  Another said “I have found out how to sell yourself, make known all your qualities and things to do and not to do when attending an interview. Also how to enhance our CVs”.

The facilitators came from a wide variety of backgrounds and businesses (full list see below), all willing to give up their time to help shape the future generation and pass on valuable advice. 

Hannah Bailey from Osborne said ““Osborne were delighted to spend the day with students from Longdean school. It was inspiring to see how enthusiastic and engaged they were in discussing their options after education. It goes to show the impact it can have when schools and businesses work together.”

“Machins Solicitors thoroughly enjoyed taking part in what was a very rewarding day with an engaging and dynamic group of students” said Abi Palmer,Marketing Manager at Machins Solicitors who sent along two of their trainee solicitors.

This programme is also being held on the 29th and 30th June at Hemel Hempstead School. If there are any businesses who would like their staff to be involved and become a facilitator for these events in future please contact Cindy Withey at Connect Dacorum on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Alex Deller-Rust – Machins Solicitors

Alistair Budd – retired HR director

Amanda Winder – Strive Development

Anne Lean – Warner Bros Studios, Levesden

Annie Smith – The Hospice Lottery

Ayesha Hafiz – Britvic

Barbara Hancock – DENS charity

Cara Wright – self employed

Caroline Evans – Hemel Hempstead Old Town Hall

Cindy Deacon - UKTD

Dave Moore – Dacorum Borough Council

Devi Raghwani – Job Centre Plus

Frances Swan – Job Centre Plus

Gordon Dickens – The Tutor Doctor

Hannah Bailey - Osborrne

John Champion – EML Retail Display

Karen Gosen – Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled

Linda Oatley – The Centre in the Park

Lorna Chiverton-Hunt – Youth Coach

Maggie Grand – Sunnyside Rural Trust

Maria McKenna - Osborne

Olivia Llewellyn -  Machins Solicitors

Simon Redlich – Audit Bureau of Circulations

Simon Stillman – Life Coach

Steve Coulam – Holiday Inn Hemel Hempstead

Sue Prowse - Dacorum Borough Council

Tania Barney - Sensoria

Tony Munday – TM Development Associates