Maidstone: Ready, fire, aim!

"Just dive in. Try it. See what happens."

As the Hub Team prepared for the launch of its first innovation-into-employment project this week, we caught up with Jobs in Kent CEO, Paul Andrews, to find out his opinion on what young people moving employment need to be doing.

Paul is an incredible ambassador for young entrepreneurs and has been one himself since he was a young boy turning over a pleasing profit in the school playground. Paul shared with us the three skills that he believes are most important for being your own boss, the first of which was tenacity. He then went onto explain the second, which was acuity; "The ability to look around you and see what's going on from a detached point of view. To not get dragged into the thought of the moment. That's where the opportunities lay, when you've got an awareness of what's really going on around you". The third skill was enthusiasm.

As an employer himself, we also asked Paul what would make him employ somebody without a degree, with little or no real working experience and without a driving license? His immediate single-worded response spoke volumes as he said, "attitude". So whether you're going it alone as a one-man-band or climbing the ladder of a global corporation, it always comes back to the same core skills: effective communication and just being able to talk to people - and these are the skills that we at the hub work with young people on developing. Paul then went on to talk about the importance of uncovering people's talents:

"The thing is, everybody has a talent somewhere; and talent isn't always what we necessarily think it is. Lots of people are developable and it's about uncovering people's talents."

One of the strongest messages that come out of meeting Paul Andrews was the importance of actually going out there and doing something, to 'just start'. Give something new a go and adapt it down the line if need be - or as Paul would have it:

"Ready, fire, aim." It's so easy to spend all the time in the world planning out how you're going to do something, where it's going to go and which steps you're going to take to get there - but all of that work is irrelevant if you don't actually ever get round to physically doing any of it.

Furthermore, Paul then explained that, in many cases, we don't end up where we first envisaged; much like most inventors who end up creating something that is completely different to the idea that they first started out with. A lot of the time, there is also an accident somewhere along the way that caused them to invent what they end up with! As a result of talking to Paul, our team have decided to put his theory into practise with immediate effect. The Acorn hub is all about empowering young people to support themselves and their communities, and following our discussion with Paul, we have decided to launch our innovation-into-employment project next week, instead of in September as originally planned. The project will focus on developing new technologies in a creative, sustainable way and we are now inviting students and graduates with skills in game design, graphic design, animation or coding to come along for an open house event on Monday 11th August and showcase their talents. It'll offer young people the opportunity to become part of an enthusiastic team who will uncover and encourage any talents that they have.

"Everything is about experimenting. Sometimes it's ok to just start something and adapt it as you go."

So if you have technology based skills and want to be involved in a real project that can offer you relevant and meaningful experience - then this event is for you. Just dive in, try it and see what happens.


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