CAV04 smallOne Hundred and sixty Year 10 pupils from Cavendish School took part in an Employability Skills event on Tuesday 19th and Wednesday 20th January organised and run by Connect Dacorum.  The pupils were in groups of around 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 hall 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 first time Connect Dacorum has organised this at Cavendish School having previously run it for the past couple of years at Longdean School and Hemel Hempstead 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 most of them of them saying that it was really helpful.  One wrote “I have learnt how to speak and present myself during an interview or phone call and how to make a good CV”.  Another said “Interviews are hard and scary but I will apply what I have learnt to gain confidence”.

Cavendish School said that “the feedback from students and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive and appreciative.  Our senior leadership team were extremely impressed when they called in to see the event in progress, and they heard from students afterwards that the event was very useful.”

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. 

Lucy Wall from Parker Hannifin said “It was great to impart my knowledge as an employer to students. They were very engaged throughout the workshop and felt the materials will be useful to them in future".

Gordon Dickins from Tutor Doctor said “A real sense of engagement with the purpose of our workshop emerged from the two groups of young people that I had the pleasure of working with over the past couple of days. Open eyes and minds and a better understanding of how to approach their futures appeared to be the outcome, and 100% participation made for lively and I believe enjoyable sessions for all concerned!”

If there are any businesses who would like their staff to be involved and become a facilitator for these events later in the year at Longdean School in April and Hemel Hempstead School in July please contact Cindy Withey at Connect Dacorum on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Sally Ash – The Waterways Experiences

Andrew Bayram - magistrate

Hannah Bailey - Osbourn

Tara Brady – Aubrey Park Hotel

Jamie Chandler – Selex ES

Nick Crispin – magistrate

Nick Cummins – Parker Hannifin

Louis Devayya – Dacorum Borough Council

Gordon Dickens – The Tutor Doctor

Martin Gomme – Hemel Cartridges

Karen Gosen – Gaddesden Place Riding for the Disabled

Olga Harte – Parker Hannifin

Tina Howard – Borough Councillor

Lesley Jones – De-Novo Consultants

Jackie Jones – Tate Recruitment

Ellie MacDonald – Opal Mortgage Solutions

Emma Munro - RES

Janice O’Neil – Business Buzz, Hemel

Adam Parrish – Selex ES

Lucy Wall – Parker Hannifin