(Marielle Tweedie – Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)
Gaining fantastic new skills, experiencing once in a lifetime opportunities, meeting millionaires, attending events at Hamden, appearing on television and radio, presenting to politicians and key policy makers, taking part in business critical projects and assisting the Bright Purple team, are not the only things the apprentices have gained in their time at Bright Purple. I am delighted to say they have now all successfully completed their SVQ in Business and Administration Level 2 and last week we held a graduation with a difference to mark their achievements.
Robert Orden describes a graduation ceremony as “an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.” But here at Bright Purple we do things differently and we wanted to not only celebrate them receiving their SVQ, but also their individual efforts on the programme and that’s what happened on the 12th July 2012.
In addition to a full house of Bright Purple people we were also joined in the Academy by friends on the programme who have given their time and effort including Neil Francis from Company Net and The Together Partnership, Andrew Muirhead CEO of Inspiring Scotland, Monica Black and Veronica McNeill from DGM and Gordon Dow from The Power Lunch Club.
Nick Price, Bright Purple’s CEO had kicked off the proceedings, discussing why we decided to run the programme, how we have been impressed from a business perspective by the young people’s steely determination and resilience and why it has turned out to be such a success.
My own presentation was slightly different – I finished it by saying it was a day for celebration and used a balloon prop to highlight my point. I delivered my line “let’s end things with a bang” and burst the balloon with a pin. I hadn’t had a dress rehearsal of this so I jumped just as high as the other people in the room!
The apprentices have worked together as a team over the last 6 months and have really bonded. Tom and Becki have decided that sales is not for them so they will be exploring new opportunities in the areas of banking and sports science and have already secured interviews with organisations that include HSBC and The Leith Agency. A really touching part of the graduation was when the apprentices that were staying put together short presentations for both Becki and Tom to mark their achievements. Tom was gobsmacked and visibly touched by the words that Lewis had put together for him.
The whole graduation was quite an emotional event as the team at Bright Purple have worked extremely closely with the apprentices and have seen them grow from a group of inexperienced kids to polished professional recruiters and seeing the transformation and hearing the apprentices talk about their gratitude to us all was extremely touching. There were definitely a few packets of Kleenex used in The Academy when they delivered their thanks.
Also in the audience was a special guest from the Scottish Government, Danny McDonald who works with Angela Constance the Minister for Youth Employment. He had come along to see what the programme involved.
When Neil Francis came in to visit the apprentices and take part in a speaker session, he told them that when the programme finished they should leave with their heads held high and in the weeks leading up to their graduation he recommended they watch the Steve Jobs video of him delivering his commencement speech to the graduates of Stanford University in 2005. In it he talks about getting fired from Apple in 1985, also life and death.
I think everyone should watch this video as it highlights exactly the atmosphere that was in the Bright Purple Academy the day the apprentices received their certificates. Although the programme is coming to an end there will be another graduation in 6 months time as Lewis, Deonne, Craig and Sarah continue to grow in their careers by working with DGM to complete their SVQ Level 3 in Business and Administration here at Bright Purple. This gives me another 6 months to come up with another presentation prop!