London’s employers unlock opportunities for UK’s young people

On Thursday 8 December some of the biggest names in the Capital opened their doors once again to more than 1,300 students from over 200 schools and colleges around the UK. The event, A Capital Experience, is the biggest employer-led careers event of its kind. 

On the day, students visited over 60 employers across London who support the charity across a range of sectors. Companies hosting students included; Citi, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, LinkedIn, and Travelodge. Students toured company facilities and met with employees to hear about the various career pathways within the industries.

The event comes at a time when employers across sectors are being called upon to widen recruitment pools and boost diversity among workforces. 

A recent report from the Social Mobility Foundation, Socio-economic diversity in life sciences and investment banking, found that the investment banking sector is still failing to hire talented, but less advantaged young people.  

In contrast, Santander, one of the biggest supporters and funders of Career Ready, has recruited a number Career Ready students as a result of their participation in the programme. They hosted 60 students at A Capital Experience. 

Keith Moor, Chief Marketing Officer at Santander, said: “At Santander we are committed to supporting our communities and helping people and businesses prosper. We have been working in partnership with Career Ready for over five years enabling us to ensure young people have the opportunities and knowledge they need to realise their potential and embark on their chosen careers. 

“We engage with all elements of the programme from providing mentors, LAB members and masterclass volunteers to hosting site visits and work experience placements. 

“This relationship is integral to our ethos of inclusion and diversity, it has opened a whole new recruitment pipeline for us and we are increasingly offering part time and full time roles to students we have worked with during internships and placements. These young people are coming to us with the key skills and attitudes we need in our workforce and are bringing new, fresh and exciting ideas to our business. We also see the huge benefits it brings to the large number of Santander employees who volunteer on the programme enhancing coaching, presentation and interpersonal skills essential for professional development.”

Following the announcement of several infrastructure projects in the Autumn Statement, the engineering sector is keen to attract young talent. In a recent report, Skills: Meeting Demand, Costain called for a “recruitment revolution” in the engineering industry. 

To mark A Capital Experience, Costain hosted 15 Career Ready students at the biggest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the UK water industry; the Thames Tideway Tunnel. 

Senior Community Relations Manager at Costain, Angelika Chraska-Pongo, added: 
“Costain has been a keen supporter of Career Ready for over six years. Inspiring young people with the fantastic career opportunities available within the construction and engineering sectors is an important role that we must support to ensure our industry has a sustainable supply of talent. Working with the young people provides a rewarding opportunity for our colleagues and it is an excellent way of engaging our local communities.

“Access to major infrastructure projects is always challenging for young people and it is therefore always pleasing to welcome students from across the UK as part of A Capital Experience to our London projects. Visiting the Thames Tideway Tunnel project offered a unique insight into a major engineering programme and one they will never forget. I’m sure none of the students expected to have a behind-the-scenes tour of a new sewer and we hope that some may feel inspired to becoming an engineer in the future.”

Chief Executive of Career Ready, Anne Spackman, said: “Businesses need and want to recruit young people. Brexit has only added to that demand.

“Students on the Career Ready programme develop the skills and attitudes which all employers are looking for, no matter what business they are in.

“At A Capital Experience some of the country’s top businesses open their doors to our students to show just how high they can aim."

For a round-up of all the social media activity from the day click here.