One of the great things about working for yourself is flexibility. Granted, it’s long hours and weekends, but it’s also the freedom to take a morning off for the school sports day or offer some time to help in the local community. One of the programmes we’ve been able to help with over the past four years is Building My Skills.

The scheme, run and championed by Esh Group, is designed to help young people gain the skills they need for the world after school – be that further education or work. The programme is supported by local businesses who visit participating schools to deliver sessions covering topics including cv’s, online appearance and interview tips. At the end of the year, students that complete all steps in the programme are invited to a mock interview day.

Thinking back (many, many years) to when I was their age, I can imagine how nerve-wracking the day could be. These young people walk into a sports hall and are interviewed, multiple times, by total strangers. Now I know that that’s how interviews go, but when you consider that some of the students are only 15 and 16, I think it’s pretty impressive.

One thing I’ve realised over the years is that while the programme is designed for students, I get a lot out of it too. Each year the students inspire me with their confidence, and how focussed most of them are on what they want from life and the fact that they know how to get there.

If you’re a business that’s interested in getting involved, take a look at the Esh Added Value site