Message for the 2020 School Leavers

I am so very sorry that things have not turned out as you had hoped.

We are living through a time of great uncertainty, and all of you will understandably be feeling anxious about your future as apprentices, sixth formers, college students or university undergraduates.

This time is a test of your personal and social skills like never before. You will need to manage your mental and emotional well being, stay positive, be resilient, adapt and adjust to changing events. You must support others in your family and friendship groups, follow instructions responsibly, and be kind.

When we emerge from this (as of course we will) employers like me will undoubtedly take these unprecedented circumstances into account when recruiting people of your age. I would certainly be looking for evidence of good personal and social skills over academic qualifications. There will be one question in a future job or university interview that you should aim to be ready to answer with pride, and that is;

“What did you do to help others during the Covid-19 pandemic?”

An explanation as to how you took care to keep your family and others safe simply by staying at home and encouraging your friends to do the same would be a good response to the question. The most important thing you must do is to comply with the rules of the lockdown in terms of staying at home, social distancing or quarantine. By doing this you can be sure that you are personally saving lives. By not doing it you can be sure that you are putting lives in danger.

Even better would be to explain how you also played a team role at home by doing household chores such as cleaning and cooking, or babysitting younger siblings, particularly if your parents were continuing to work.

If it is possible for you to help others beyond your immediate family then you should also be able to demonstrate excellent social skills by volunteering. Those of you over the age of 18 can apply to become one of the NHS First Responders – which even includes a role of simply telephoning people from the comfort of your home to check they are ok.  Other opportunities to volunteer will exist within local community groups or with the Red Cross.

So between now and September, make sure you have plenty of things to tell a future employer about how you stayed home, saved lives, helped your family and the community, and did what society needed. Then the future will no doubt look bright for you.

Keep well and stay safe.

Julia Muir 

CEO Gaia Innovation Ltd

Founder Automotive 30% Club