OxGROW is OxLEP Skills' new virtual mentoring platform - available through the Social Contract programme - with 12 business mentors having been secured through the initiative, to offer support to individuals looking for employment or to change career, with help in areas such as developing resilience, CV writing and preparing for interviews.
We caught up with one of our OxGROW business mentors, Jen Healy, to find out more about the platform, who can benefit from accessing the initiative and why she's signed up as a mentor for the platform.
Jen is a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) Consultant based in Suffolk - but whose clients are predominantly based in Oxfordshire - who started her own consultancy back in 2018, following a previous career working in schools with young people, focusing on employment opportunities.
Jen decided to start her own business following some time away from the workplace to raise her family, having recognised that the skills she'd gained and her experience working in employability with young people was a real asset to the field more widely.
Find out why Jen decided to be a part of 'OxGROW':
The OxGROW mentoring platform is of mutual benefit – acting as a rewarding social value opportunity to mentors, as they support others in their career journey – helping to prepare Oxfordshire’s residents in a tight labour market and increase the talent pipeline for Oxfordshire employers, whilst making new connections – whilst also predominantly supporting those experiencing challenges entering employment or their chosen sector, by gaining the invaluable support of a business expert.
The mentoring platform forms part of the Social Contract Programme alongside various other initiatives, including the ‘No Limits’ programme – a scheme to support those furthest from the labour market with access to areas such as skills development support and costs including travel bursaries – with OxLEP Skills working in partnership with charity organisations SOFEA and Aspire to deliver the initiative.
Other schemes forming part of the Social Contract include support unlocking or transferring unused Apprenticeship Levy funds with the support of two expert Apprenticeship Advisors, and the Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Grant Scheme, offering grant support to ensure apprenticeships starts and completions for businesses within the county.
The Social Contract has been funded by the government’s Contain Outbreak Management Fund, with funding secured by OxLEP.
If you’re interested in joining the platform as a mentor, contact [email protected] to find out more.