London’s employers answer calls to make young people work ready

London’s largest employers opened their doors to more than 1,000 students on Thursday 10 December as part of A Capital Experience, the launch event of the Career Ready programme. Schools and colleges from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland had the opportunity to visit and network with one of 50 of the Capital’s employers supporting them and their students. 

Billy Atkin, a Career Ready graduate who spoke at the event, said: “Before Career Ready I was shy, lacked confidence and couldn't speak well to people I didn't know. 

“Completing my internship at McGraw Hill was a turning point and gave me an insight into Facilities Management – I would like to either work within that or Real Estate in the future. At the moment I have a temporary Christmas job and I'm hoping to find an apprenticeship soon. 

“Career Ready never gave up on me, even when I had given up on myself. The programme helped me understand that when life beats you down you need to get back up. It helped me to change how I look at the world.”

As part of the flagship event, students visited a range of employer supporters across different sectors, including Santander, Moody’s, Citi Group, Arsenal Football Club, Freshfields, Lloyds Banking Group, the Metropolitan Police, LinkedIn, ITV and Costain. Students met colleagues in the business and found out more about the types of careers available within the company after attending a motivational rally at the Dominion Theatre. Across the whole event students learned core skills in communication and networking which they put into practice at the employers they visited.

James Bardrick, Managing Director of Citi and a Trustee of Career Ready, said:

“Citi have been working with Career Ready students for more than 10 years and have seen the difference walking into an employer and seeing people who look like them can make.

“Having students in our workplace has also opened our eyes to the talent on our doorsteps. Employers need to be even more forthcoming and make a greater effort to help students open their eyes to the range of careers open to them.”

Anne Spackman, Chief Executive of Career Ready, said: “For many students on our programme this will be their first visit to London, and for those from London this will be their first visit to the City or Canary Wharf. 

“This experience opens their eyes to opportunities that are not just for ‘other people’, but for them.”

To view the social media highlights of the day, please click here