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As an employer recruiting, how many times have you asked a candidate what they are good at, and they say; ‘working as part of a team’, ‘communication’, ‘working on own initiative’ and all of the other ‘buzz’ phrases, but then cannot come up with an instance of this? We know that young people have amazing ideas, are born digital, and can bring a new, innovative dimension to a team, so why are they not telling us about it?

Springboard (Hull) contacted the Humber LEP Skills Pledge to put on a Jobs Fair for young people for Customer Service, Retail, Catering, and labouring type vacancies. The 13 young people to be invited were all ‘ready for work’ and had done various training, jobs, and education in the past, were mostly getting to interview stage, but not nailing the job.

The Springboard Advisers needed to see what the stumbling blocks were and how to resolve these issues with real job opportunities for the selected 13.


The event needed an opportunity for participants to liaise with real employers and apply for live vacancies in a supportive environment, showcasing their skills/experience, qualifications and CVs to employers, but without the boundaries and restrictions of a normal interview setting.

The young people all stated how nervous they get at interview, and it seemed fine for the interviewer, as they had done recruitment so many times, it would be easy for them, not understanding that interviewers are often as nervous as the young person… we switched it around.


We invited Lena’s Deli, ResQ, Prestige Recruitment, King William Pub, DWP, Hull Pie, Hull College, and Hull Training to the afternoon tea held at Kardomah94, with 13 young people aged 18-24, and the Hull Springboard team.

The young people ‘speed interviews’ the employers, asking about how they got into business, what they looked for in a new recruit, and what the jobs they had entailed. When travelling around the room, the young people grew and grew in confidence, and by the end, were itching to get back and speak to the employers that had told them about jobs that interested them. The networking break saw all mixing together, and the event was a huge success for the confidence of the young people.

Ashley said “I enjoyed the event and liked the fact that I got the chance to bond with the employer and that I got to interview them as this gave me the chance to get the information that was specific to me”

Some of the young people have gone on to get follow-up interviews like Declan; “I was nervous going into the event, but after speaking to employers through interviewing, I gained more confidence and it was interesting to learn how employers got into their roles. From the event Prestige offered me an interview for a customer service role which made me feel like I was employable and that I do have desirable skills and qualities an employer looks for. I would not have thought of looking at prestige for job roles if they were not at the event.”

Thomas said; “I really enjoyed the event, the venue and the atmosphere. I liked that I was given the opportunity to interview the employers as I got to ask questions that I had never been able to ask before and I now know different ways to ‘sell my skills’. I was also happy to hear back from ResQ and Hull Training after the event.”

Lena, Owner of Lena’s Deli, was looking for a catering assistant and a till assistant, and said “I have thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and have never interviewed in this way before, but am more than happy to come to further events like this”.


The Springboard team continue to work with the young people in Hull, and are awaiting outcomes from follow-up CV’s and interviews.

Ann Newlove, Skills Pledge Coordinator said “I chose Kardomah94 as the venue, as it is the ideal atmosphere for the event. We knew that although not all would get secondary interviews following the speed interviewing, it was a good way to grow confidence, having 13 job interviews in under 2 hours. Practice makes permanent. This was a pilot event to see how this type of recruitment worked, and we are now hoping to follow it up with the three teams that make up the full Humber Springboard support.”

 For more information, please contact the Employment and Skills Team, Humber LEP