World Lithuanian Youth Conference 2012 – Harmony Park, Lithuania – July 2012

(Lina Adukaite – Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region)

Lina Adukaite, Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region, who attended the conference with her colleagues Jurga and Jurate talks about her experiences of the day and the Scottish connection.

 “We are a small nation, therefore, everyone of us have to be ten times as cautious, good, educated and do ten times more than members of large nations,” the Lithuanian President stated at the opening of the Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012. Dalia Grybauskaitė added she would always support those who want to identify with and work for Lithuania, very patriotic and may I say, it made me think that our Scottish counterparts would be of a similar mindset? After all Scots as I have learnt from my time working at Bright Purple, are a fiercely patriotic people!

The ‘Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012’ took place at Harmony Park in Prienai district, of Lithuania. The event was the first of this kind and on this scale, since the independence of Lithuania.

The Festival welcomed everyone regardless of a country of residence, occupation or age. It was a place to have great time and make friends from all over the world. It was a meeting point for those whom “Lithuania” has a special meaning in their hearts.

The World Lithuanian Youth meeting is the youth festival encompassing science, business, and politics and cultural areas. There were more than a dozen areas where over a hundred presentations, meetings and discussions took place. Discussions with well-known figures were open to everyone wishing to share their beliefs and attitudes. The world Lithuanian youth meeting was attended by 3,500 people from more than 30 different countries, that’s an amazing statistic.

The Prime Minister along with the ministers of national defence, justice, foreign affairs and education had a discussion with the young audience on Friday, 13th of July. Discussions took place around business, science, cultural and political topics, creativity workshops, sports events, meetings with prominent people, networking and career fairs, along with an entertainment agenda of film screenings, concerts, plays, and a fashion show were also held over two days. It was a packed agenda!

AMBASSADORS OF THE EVENT:

Ilja Laurs – Founder and Chairman of GetJar, world’s largest independent mobile application store. “European Manager of the Year 2011”, “25 European Tech Leaders”, “Top 40 most influential people in mobile communications”. Ilja speaks on all major telecommunication conferences and is regularly quoted in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg and many other news sources. GetJar is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Seattle, the UK and Lithuania.

Dalia Ibelhauptaitė – is a Lithuanian opera, theatre and film director. In 1991, Ibelhauptaitė was invited to the Royal National Theatre Studio in London. She has been in London ever since. Ibelhauptaitė has also given master classes at National Opera Studio and Royal National Theatre Studio in London, is a popular teacher in China, Israel, Holland, France, Los Angeles and India. Ibelhauptaitė married to an English actor Dexter Fletcher.

Andrius Mamontovas – Actor, singer and composer, awarded for Merits to Lithuania, nominated for the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award, “Street Music Day” ideological leader.

Algirdas Kaušpėdas – is a Lithuanian rock musician, the leader of Lithuanian rock group Antis, an architect and one of the Sąjūdis (Reform Movement of Lithuania) initiators.

Juozas Statkevičius – Lithuania’s most prominent fashion designer. He is the first designer from the Baltics presented his haute couture collections in Paris and the first Lithuanian who has made appearance on glossy pages of Elle and Vogue. His designs are available in New York, London, Tokyo and such stars as Bjork, K. Sadgwick, N. Watts and Princess of Denmark Mary wear them.

Ray Bartkus – is a Lithuanian artist. He is the designer of the Lithuanian 50 Litas bill. Since 1991, he has illustrated for a number of publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Harper’s Magazine, the Wall Street Journaland Time Magazine.

Jonas Valančiūnas – is a 20 years old Lithuanian professional basketball player, currently playing for the Toronto Raptors. He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. Valančiūnas was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Antanas Guoga – is a LithuanianAustralian businessman and professional poker player. Currently a major sponsor of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation.

And the biggest attraction was President (1994-1998) of Costa Rica – José María Figueres Olsen. A businessman and politician after he left the presidency of Costa Rica, he is involved in global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and technology. He led the World Economic Forum – Concordia 21, and from March 2012 he is The President of organization “Carbon War Room” fighting for climate change.

The Career Fair – was based at the stable’s in Harmony Park and we all thought it sounded very British and very Royal! It is a heated horse arena that conforms to international standards and international horse competitions are often held there.

Our friends at the stable‘s included a variety of some of the biggest companies in Lithuania, as well as an array of International businesses to include Lithuanian Post, Lithuanian Railways, Invest Lithuania, Danske bank, SVYTURYS and UTENOS ALUS breweries, Enterprise Lithuania, Philip Morris Lietuva, Vytautas Magnus University, ISM, Eika, The National Association of Lithuanian electricity and Baltic Legal Solutions, amongst others.

This was a fantastic opportunity to meet many people, many young people who will play a part in the future of Lithuania one day and the Bright Purple brand demonstrated the proactive attitude of our firm and stood out for all to see and we received a lot of compliments for that! Our stand was busy all day long and we met a lot of interesting Lithuanians who had travelled from many continents, shared a lot of our contacts and it didn’t stop there, because after the career fair was over, we decided to enjoy the rest of the event and we were lucky enough to take some salsa lessons with a Lithuanian trainer who was based in Australia!

Why have I been asked to speak about this youth conference by Bright Purple?

Because our CEO Nick Price and Bright Purple have shown their commitment to youth through the very successful and prominent, Bright Futures Programme, they believe in youth and its ability to add value and at the same time, Lithuania is also committed to working hard to secure the future of its youth – seems like a lot of comparison’s to me?

Scotland, like Lithuania is a small country and its youth is critical to its future success as a Nation and therefore making sure that the youth is engaged, inspired and fully motivated to make a difference is vitally important. Lithuania, again like Scotland has many issues with regards to its youth population and both countries have suffered from a lack of exciting opportunities that engages its youth and both have therefore seen an exodus of talent over the years and yet similarly, both countries are always keen to try to attract their national’s back home, bringing new found skills and experiences with them.

What can we learn from each other as both our small nations push to grow in the global economy and how can we achieve the necessary growth, if we lack plentiful skilled talent, with the rights attributes and skills that match our Nation’s ambitions? Without talent we can’t grow, can we? Youth lays at the centre of the puzzle – we must engage and inspire youth and we must give them the opportunities they desire, or we’ll simply see them leave us for more attractive shores.

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Bright Purple’s apprentices and they have shown me that you can very quickly develop talent; I think it’s amazing what our firm has done in just 6 months with 6 young people! It’s even more amazing given the youngsters who started in January 2012 were previously uninspired or without the motivation or drive to continue in to further education, something here in Lithuania we take for granted that all our youngsters will carry on to further education.

Youngsters need to be given the chance to shine, in both our small countries and in Lithuania there are already many young people making their mark in industry and politics, but we need more opportunities for them. How much more can be done in Scotland to engage youth, I would suggest a lot

Can Scotland match Lithuania and hold its own World Youth Conference – why not try and see what happens and give youth a voice on a big scale, just as we have done so successfully here in my home country of Lithuania.

Forget the Last 6 Months; This is Where it Really Begins

(Craig Lamb – Trainee Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)

 My first week as a full time resourcer was one of my hardest weeks at Bright Purple, after a two week holiday I had to quickly regain my working mentality as I was keen to make a good impression on my first week back.

It was surreal being back at Bright Purple and not being surrounded by the apprentices, instead I was in a team with Daniel and Martin in the International team. It was hard not being in the apprentice team, I had spent six months with 5 people who I came to know very well, then all of a sudden, we were all split up, it almost felt like I had started a new job and I was working for a different company.

Since the apprenticeship has finished, even though it has been a short time, I have changed. Ever since starting the resourcing job, I have had targets to meet, but when I was an apprentice, if one week I didn’t reach my targets I could use the fact that I was an apprentice as an excuse. But now there are no excuses and both Bright Purple and my CEO Nick Price, quite rightly expect me to add value to the company. That means reaching my targets every week, which will give me more chance of placing candidates, which in turn will make Bright Purple money and I will become an asset to the company.

This has transformed  me into a stronger character, knowing I am under pressure to meet targets and make money, doesn’t scare me; it makes me more determined to exceed my targets by big margins and help Bright Purple reach the bigger goals they have as a business, which makes me thrive.

My first week on the job was a big learning curve; I learnt many things in my first couple days back at Bright Purple.

The only way to make money, is to pick up the phone
This isn’t a 9am – 5.30pm job
You only get what you put into it

And learning these few things on my first few days as being a full time resourcer opened my eyes and made me realise what I have to do if I am to do well here at Bright Purple. I don’t want to meet my targets, I want to smash them and I don’t want to make a little bit of cash, I WANT TO MAKE LOADS OF MONEY.

The First Minister embraces a PURPLE Scotland

(By Lewis O’Connor – Trainee Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)
Wednesday 18th July was one of my biggest days in Bright Purple. I and the other apprentices have been given numerous opportunities to meet with well-established and influential business people throughout the programme. Today we were gifted with the chance to meet with both Angela Constance (Minister for Youth Employment) and our very own First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond accompanied by a stampede of film crews and photographers.

The experience has been yet another one to cherish and it rates as another memorable event in my short career here at Bright Purple. To think back to where I was 6 months ago with a dead end job and no real ambition, belief or sense of direction to know sitting alongside two of the most influential people in Scotland, holding my own in a discussion which is affecting my friends, family and the whole nation.

I was extremely inspired by their visit and it still hasn’t quite yet sunk in. I was blown away by their huge interest in the programme and also how we as individuals have developed and grown into young business men and women. It was so refreshing to meet with the First Minster and Angela Constance and to hear just how down to earth they really are and how passionate they are about youth unemployment something which has been an obstacle in my life and so many other young bright people out there.

To be in a position where I was able to express my feelings and share my views on what I think can be done to help, with such a hugely well debated issue as youth unemployment with the man at the very top of Scottish politics was unbelievable. I along with the other apprentices was able to tell both the First Minister and Angela Constance, how Bright Purple is bucking the trend by believing and trusting in its young people. Explaining that if other businesses were to take notice of the work being done here at Bright Purple they would soon reap the rewards as Bright Purple have by adding a dynamic, fresh and new way of thinking in the business. In return for the hard work and support provided throughout the modern apprentice you gain employees with a lot of hunger, ambition and the will to succeed.

The day has been one of great accomplishment for all involved. I know for sure that I and the other apprentices were inspired and hugely grateful for the opportunity and will take a lot out of the meeting. The wider Bright Purple team were honoured to host such a well know prestigious guest and I am sure the First Minister left with a lot of food for thought. He heard first-hand the challenges faced by youngsters and just how much potential they have if given the chance.

The First Minister commented he should have worn purple, given we were all dressed in something purple – next time maybe he will?

Bright Purple – flying the flag for Youth Unemployment

(Thomas Wilson – Apprentice at Bright Purple Resourcing)

 Tuesday the 17th of July 2012 seemed like it was going to end like a normal day. But at Bright Purple we don’t do normal, we do EXCEPTIONAL.

 Marielle, myself and my fellow apprentices were in a meeting discussing an expected visit the next day from Angela Constance, the Minister for Youth Employment, which in itself was quite a nerve-wracking prospect. However Amanda Jeffrey, Marketing and Social Media Manager at Bright Purple burst in to the meeting room out of breath and shaking like mad! Amanda announced to us all that Alex Salmond, our First Minister was actually coming to the Bright Purple office to meet us – now I was really nervous.

Hearing the news took a few minutes to settle in to be honest. When I got home my parents were over the moon, as it wasn’t just me who just received good news, my brother had been told that he would be joining the Livingston FC first team for a friendly match against Brechin City.

As I had to come in to the office at 08.15am I had to get myself up at 6.30am, which I can assure you is the earliest I have ever had to get up in my life! I arrived to work at 08.10am and to say I was drenched from the unrelenting Scottish rain is an understatement. It wasn’t a good start to the morning as I had to go and buy a new shirt! But saying that it was really important for me to look my best, I was meeting the First Minister and the Minister for Youth Employment and if it meant spending money to meet them, then that’s what I had to do.

When I walked down to the Bright Purple Academy I couldn’t believe my eyes, there was so much media downstairs it was really mind blowing.

When Angela and the First Minister arrived I was quite shocked, as I had seen Alex Salmond on television many times and in the news papers often and it was a really weird feeling to see him in person and in our offices. Sitting down and speaking to the First Minister and the Minster for Youth Employment about my experience of life as a Scottish youth is a sentence I thought I would never write in my lifetime. It was a very unusual feeling because as we were speaking the photographers were clicking away like mad on their cameras! I could tell that First Minister and Ms. Constance were both very interested in what we were saying and it was such a huge honour to have them here at Bright Purple.

It was an incredible feeling that such high profile people in our country were actually interested what Bright Purple were doing and therefore in me and my fellow apprentices. I think that we have definitely given them something to think about and it is all down to the fantastic Bright Purple team.

Without them I wouldn’t be here today. Not only did they take a chance on me in January 2012 and delivered so much to me over 6 months, but after I didn’t get the full time post, they gave me the opportunity to stay on for another month to help them with the Database Migration.

I can’t thank them enough for all of the opportunity they have put in my path.

A visit from the man himself – Scotland’s First Minister

(Deonne Budge, Office Junior at Bright Purple Resourcing)

18th July 2012 has to be one of the biggest days of my life, and for all the Bright Futures apprentices. We have had the opportunity to meet so many senior business professionals, even millionaires and a Nobel Peace prize winner, but. today was the day Alex Salmond the First Minister and Angela Consistence, Minister for Youth Employment came to speak to the apprentices. I have said before that working in Bright Purple has been a roller coaster and each day is different, but this has to be the one to beat.

I had been preparing to meet Angela Constance and the day was nearly here and my nerves were kicking in. Then Amanda  our Marketing and social Media Manager, came up to announce that the First Minister was also attending the meeting with us and this just added more nerves and the excitement started to build.

On the arrival of Alex Salmond and Angela Constance the media were everywhere and it was so busy, I didn’t know what to do as many people were asking questions and it was like I was living in a dream. To come to work on a Wednesday morning and have media taking pictures and a film crew filming the apprentices was something I could most defiantly get used to. Bright Purple is a place that is full of surprises, always new projects, new ideas and new day’s, but I can truly say now that I know of no apprenticeship that will have had the opportunities that we all have had.

A question that I got asked by Angela Constance was, “do you think other businesses should do this?” and my answer is of course 100% yes, because this has had such a positive effective on me, not just on a business side but, also on a personal level as well. I have gained so much experience here at Bright Purple in the past 6 months that I can only highly recommend to every young person out there, find an apprenticeship and if more businesses where creating apprenticeship like this, then the youth unemployment figures would go down and youngsters like me would feel valued and work hard to make it.

Who would have thought that I have went from cleaning floors to sitting with our First Minister, Alex Salmond and our Youth Employment Minister, Angela Constance and talking about youth employment and apprenticeship schemes?

Inspiring young purple people, inspiring Scotland

(By Andrew Muirhead, CEO of Inspiring Scotland)

On Thursday 12th July I returned to the Inspiring Scotland office and I felt distinictevely bright purple.

I had just attended the Bright Purple Academy’s first ever graduation ceremony for their group of 6 Bright Futures Apprentices and met their Graduates; a group of motivated, enthusiastic, committed, professional, engaged and inspirational young people – I was hugely impressed.

Like Bright Purple’s CEO Nick Price, and the rest of his team, I’m passionate about tackling some of the countries toughest social issues in a strategic and collaborative way.  The Youth unemployment in this country is frightening.  But what is even more scary is the outlook for the next generations if we don’t do anything.

At Inspiring Scotland we’ve invested over £20 million in a fund which has supported over 12,000 young people to be in the best possible place to secure a job, place in education or training.  To do this we’ve formed a unique partnership across the private, public and not-for-profit sector.  One sector can’t solve this issue on it’s own, we need everyone pulling together in the same direction and only then will we  begin to make a significant and sustained difference.

Congratulations to the Academy’s Graduates and thank you to Bright Purple for allowing me to share in the experience.

Nick Price, Bright Purple’s CEO commented: “ the work that Andrew Muirhead and the team of dedicated people at Inspiring Scotland can’t be underestimnated and the organisation makes a significant difference to young lives across Scotland on a daily basis.”

He went on to say “We were delighted when Andrew came to Bright Purple’s Academy to meet and talk with the apprentices, who at that time were far greener than they are today and he delivered an inspirational session with them, but that’s what we expected because he’s an inspirational man and we thank him for dedicating his time to our young people, who benefited greatly from it.”

You can see more about Inspiring Scotland and the wonderful work they do here at – http://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/

Celebrate good times – the 12th July, a memorable day for our apprentices

(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!

Here is the link to the Steve Jobs video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1R-jKKp3NA