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06 Aug

06 August 2015

Tackling the skills shortage

An acute skills shortage is one of the biggest factors affecting the growth of Coventry and Warwickshire’s professional and business services firms.

Home growing our own talent is crucial so a few months ago we set up a mentoring programme designed to do exactly that. By pairing some of the region’s leading professionals with young people from another sector we are helping future business leaders accelerate their personal development.

We’ve been asking the mentors and mentees involved what they have got from participation.

The first to provide feedback is Martyn Howard, of Drake Howard Property and one of the founders of the programme.

Martyn Howard“Having access to a mentor at the start of your career can really help someone make the right decisions,” he said. “It’s because I’ve seen the positive impact this can have that I helped set up Coventry & Warwickshire First’s mentoring programme and stepped forward as a mentor.

“The young professionals focus is firmly on the ‘bigger picture’ of their careers. It’s not a surprise as when I was their age that was exactly my focus.

“I’ve mentored a few people and each one is very different. Some are driven, some confident, some a little unsure but whatever their personality there is a steep learning curve and if we get it right the benefits for us both can be really significant.

“Helping a young person see things from a new perspective is valuable, as is reminding myself of the way things appear at the beginning of a career.

“For every employer this kind of insight is valuable. It helps us better understand the aspirations of the young members of our team at the same time as cementing a networking relation with our mentee and their contemporaries.”