What’s your name and position?
I’m Ananta Patel – Strive Training’s Business Relationship Manager.
My job is to build, nurture and sustain relationships across our business, this includes partners and stakeholders as well as employers that we work with across our centres.
I would like to create a portfolio of employers to work with that support Strive’s delivery so we can support those who are long term unemployed back into work and deliver the best service to our partners and stakeholders.
Tell us about your professional background.
I started in Retail as a Sales Assistant at the age of 16. I then went off to do my degree at Loughborough in Business Enterprise.
Once graduated, I went back to Retail for the interim, whilst seeking the ultimate Graduate job! This didn’t happen so I stayed in Retail and was fortunate enough to be given the chance to work my way up to a Recruitment & Training Manager for WHSmith LTD at Heathrow Airport. I did this for 5 years and then started with a publishing company as a HR Manager.
I took a long career break to look after my daughters (which I must say was the best job!) and then landed in the Training sector as a Recruitment & Business Manager which then led to working for LearnDirect and now Strive Training.
What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
A typical day is arranging and attending meetings with existing and prospective referral partners, working with employers on their recruitment plans and where possible understand their business and recruitment needs. I’m also very busy promoting any live job opportunities across our centers and referral partners as well as screening and selecting the right candidates. I’m a big believer in proactively attending events and networking meetings. And of course, developing and supporting our amazing outreach team is a big priority.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Definitely changing the mindset of some of our learners – “it’s not what you can’t do… it’s what you can do.”
What do you think has changed in the employment sector over the past two years?
The clear focus on job outcomes, which I think is a very positive development for all of us.
I’d also say the increased recognition of the importance of training and developing; there are more people who are long term unemployed with barriers that prevent them from gaining employment and therefore need a lot more support in there job search and training.
Favourite movie of all time?
The Wizard of Oz!
Oh that’s an easy one – Snickers!
Which London attraction would you take an out-of-town friend to visit?
To all the fabulous museums and galleries in London, followed by an evening drink at the Shard – spectacular!
What do you want to focus on the most over the next six months?
Getting more job outcomes by expanding Tottenham & Harrow delivery with vocational courses attached to reputable employers. We’re determined to support JCP advisors’ by getting more learners starting their journey into work with Strive!