Susan's Musings

Just Thinking Out Loud

Wanting to Listen, but ……

I was at an All Party Parliament Group meeting on Youth Affairs recently.  It was a forum focused around giving the young people the opportunity to ask questions, express their concerns and their general point of view. I found it rather fascinating that the one and a half hour event started with brief comments from a lady from a Youth body who mentioned what the type of questions, comments would be useful to her.  The facilitate went on to speak.  About half an hour later an MP from the opposition came in and spoke a bit and then took questions.

The MP for Children and Families then came in for the last hour. He settled down was briefly introduced then spoken for about 15 minutes or more.  He seemed like a very nice man and  sincere man who kept saying that he wanted to listen to what he the young people had to say.  After he’s initially introduction, which must have lasted for more than 5 minutes, he went on to say that he would like to say a few things in anticipation of the questions that the young people would probably want to ask.  By the time he finished talking there were only about 10 minutes of the allocated half hour left which meant that very few of the young people had the opportunity to ask questions,

Bemusingly one of the young people pointed out that he didn’t understand most of what the Minister had said. Before long a bell went  of and refused to stop ringing signally the end of the event.  The young people were told to write down questions that they may have for the minister so that he could answer them at a later date.

I left thinking that I wish he had really and truly listened since he said he wanted to hear what the young people had to say.


Copyright 2013. This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated

A More Positive View of Our Youth

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend Countec Education and Business Partnership ‘s Investors in Education Awards at the Ramada Encore Hotel in Central Milton Keynes.

It was an event that celebrated employers that provide secondary school pupils with an opportunity to experience the work place and pupils that had been on a work placement and had a positive impact in the work place.

In the current climate where there is so much negative talk about young people, I was amazed at how many positive words and phrases employers had used to describe the young people that had been with them on work placements.

I found myself jotting some of them down as follows: Motivated; Enthusiastic; Consistent; Hard Working; Always Smiling; Grew in Confidence; Lovely Boy; Wanted to do Well; Steady & Reliable; ‘Can Do’ Attitude; a Delight; Upbeat; Polite; Perfect Attendance; Dealt with Issues …..
and the list goes on and on.

These employers are people who have had a direct experience of these young people, but somehow they see something different from the image of young people that is constantly portrayed in the media. I’m not denying the problems that do exist with young people, but I believe that the young people that were honoured at Wednesday’s event are more representative of the typical teenager than those portrayed in the media.

It makes me wonder what the typical young person trying to make the most of his/her life (who does not carry a weapon or belong to a gang) must think or feel about the image we are portraying of them.


Susan Popoola

Copyright 2008 This document is the specific intellectual property of Susan Popoola. Content may not be reused or reproduced without the specific permission of the owner or a reference to the source. Opinions may be generated from content obtained from other sources and such content is referenced as appropriate.

Developing Creativity through Art

I’ve just got back to the office from a visit to a local Secondary School where I am a School Governor. While there I had an interesting conversation with the Head of Art about using Art to develop creative skills for the workplace.

I’m glad that they are thinking along these lines because creative skills are a must for the 21st Century workplace. The war for talent is not just about employers fighting for employees with the required skills. It’s also about employees demonstrating that they have the skills required by employers.

Furthermore, both my direct experience and conversations that I have with employers clearly indicate that it’s actually the softer skills that really make the difference

About The Author

Susan Popoola

Susan is a Human Resources Capital Optimisation Specialist specialising in areas inclusive of Talent Management with additional interest in a number of other areas inclusive of Education, Community and Social Justice.

Welcome To Our Site...

Susan on Twitter

Get Adobe Flash player