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Live Your Dream was introduced in 2009 in response to staff survey that indicated people felt there was not enough career development support in place. It encompasses a number of career progression workshops on completing applications, interview skills or managing your career, along with bitesize briefings and work shadowing opportunities and Colleague Swaps to increase cross team working and knowledge sharing. Plus Dane introduced Countdown to Success to offer particular support to those on short term contracts (e.g. an apprentice, maternity leave cover) and it gives the skills and confidence to take the next step in job search whether it is with Plus Dane or another organisations. It is a stretching but supportive programme where participants spend two days building their confidence and appreciation of their own skills and then Plus Dane invite local employers to come to a presentation event where they have the chance to pitch themselves to another employer, gathering feedback on the impression they make. Some apprentices were able to take volunteer work that has led on to new career opportunities.
A raft race and fun day was organised by staff from Plus Dane’s Youth Engagement Team and members of Plus Dane’s Cheshire Youth Forum. The event took place on 26 August 2011 at Astbury Mere in Congleton, Cheshire. Members of staff also attended as volunteers and also took part in the raft race, including Ken Perry Plus Dane’s Chief Executive. The raft race involved teams battling against the clock to build a raft and sail it across the lake as the main event of the day. The race was supervised by water-sports instructors and full safety equipment was provided on the day. As well as the raft race the day included a wide range of family-fun activities, sports and promotions of interest to young people, the event was also opened up to all staff to attend and get involved. The event ended with a BBQ for all those who took part in the raft race, organisers and staff that attended. This is the first time an event such as the raft race has been organised within Plus Dane and proved to be a great success. This allowed staff to take part in something a bit different and engage with members of the Cheshire Youth Forum.
For the past two years all staff have received the same amount of pay award irrespective of their level within the organisation. Plus Dane also operate a 'Neighbourhood Hero Award' which staff and managers nominate a staff member to receive. Along with a Neighbourhood Hero card, they receive Marks and Spencers vouchers thanking them for their involvement in a particular piece of work or for them going the extra mile.
Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here
Companies offering a minimum of 25 days annual leave
On-site gym or subsidised gym memberships
10% of staff undertake charitable activities during business hours
On-site nursery or vouchers
40% of employees with more than 5 years' service
Dental insurance offer to all employees
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