Spotlight: SUEZ Business Mentor

SUEZ are investing in Birmingham's young people through Envision

This year, SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK have supported five Birmingham schools to complete our Community-Apprentice programme, helping young people from some of the city’s most disadvantaged areas to develop their confidence, determination and communication skills whilst giving back to their local community.

Despite Birmingham having the largest youth unemployment rate in the UK, our young people are desperate for opportunities to succeed and develop their skills. Working with local businesses and business mentors we can give young people the opportunity to develop vital life skills whilst raising their aspiration and future opportunities.

We decided to put the spotlight on one of our great SUEZ Business Mentors to find out why she got involved.

Tell us about your role...

My name’s Amy Bloom and I’m a Business Improvement Specialist at SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK. Our vision at SUEZ is ‘to live in a society where there is no more waste’. To support this, we have been delivering innovative and environmentally responsible solutions to manage waste and water for our customers – households, local authorities and industry and commerce.

I joined SUEZ in 2018, following my graduation from Aston University. When I’m not at work I enjoy yoga and running and have just completed my first Tough Mudder!

What made you get involved in Envision’s Community-Apprentice programme?

I could see the positive impact that the programme had on the local community, both in the short and long term. I was really interested in enabling the personal development of the young people and helping them reach their potential.

What would you say has been your favourite part of being a Business Mentor?

Working with and mentoring such a great group of enthusiastic students! It has been a pleasure to witness their professional and personal development over the duration of the programme. Seeing how they connected and worked as a team, watching them become more confident and seeing them surpass all their targets has been my favourite part.

It was also a pleasure to provide real workplace examples to help the students understand, and put into context, the relevance of the skills they were developing and why they’re needed in the world of work.

As a Pitching Challenge judge, I was able to understand the wider reach of the Envision programme and its impact on other schools in the region as well as other local charities.

Do you think your involvement has helped you develop any skills?

Yes, definitely! Both as a Business Mentor and a judge. Through volunteering with different members of my organisation, I’ve developed my professional network and now, I feel a lot more confident delivering constructive feedback and clearer communications.

What would you say to others who are considering getting involved?

Get involved! It has been a very positive and engaging experience that has helped me develop professionally and personally whilst helping to support the real issues that are impacting the areas that we live in. Being involved in a programme like this has been incredibly rewarding and I can see how we can have an impact on the young people in our local area. I can’t recommend it enough.