A soundbite from our Let's Do Business speakers in London

Shantell Nyamupanda, Career Ready student, Bromley College

“When I first started at college I wasn’t as focussed as I should have been and didn’t take my studies seriously. I decided to start again on BTEC courses instead of A-Levels and also applied for the Career Ready business programme. It has been an amazing opportunity and is one of the best decisions I could have made. My mentor has helped me develop key skills and confidence and my internship at RBS Future Williams & Glyn gave me the chance to put my skills and knowledge into practice in a real workplace. Now I’m much more focussed on my studies and have even joined the Local Advisory Board at Bromley College so I can have a say on the programme for future students.”

Anne Spackman, Chief Executive, Career Ready

“We have been given an overview from Ofsted of the four key elements they look for in a careers programme. These are:

Making sure young people have access to independent advice and know what opportunities are available to them – whether that be apprenticeships, school leaver programmes or straight into employment.
Supporting young people to develop the key skills they need for any career, such as knowing how to communicate, solve problems and work in teams.
Ensuring young people have the qualifications they need for their future career success
Having individual study programmes for students aged 16-19

“The job market is now much more complicated and young people no longer have to climb a career ladder;  they have to navigate a career scaffold.”

Nadia Salim, Career Ready graduate, Haverstock School

“When I started my A-Levels I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in the future and I thought the Career Ready programme was a good way to open doors I might never have had access to. My internship with Santander is an experience I will never forget. I worked as a Customer Assistance Advisor and was given real responsibility, working with customers and dealing with money. It was nerve-wracking but my colleagues at Santander were so supportive and even stayed in touch after the internship. I gained really important skills, like communication and presentation, as well as developing my confidence, and my CV stands out because of it.”

Helen Morgan, Career Ready Coordinator, London Academy

“We launched the Career Ready programme back in 2012 and currently run both business and IT themes. We want to involve local employers in Barnet as much as possible and have developed an excellent relationship with our local synagogue, as well as Saracens Rugby Club. The key to sustaining these relationships is getting employers to buy into the whole school, not just your sixth form. Local volunteers now deliver workshops for all age groups and mentor students in their coursework, so employer engagement is embedded across the whole school.”

Susanna Winter, CSR Manager, Baker McKenzie

“Baker & McKenzie sees social mobility as a key element of the organisation's ethos and focus. We’re delighted to work with Career Ready and hosted five students for internships last year. It is fantastic to see their transformation over the six weeks from being nervous teenagers to confident adults, comfortably addressing a whole room full of people. As a company, it is incredibly refreshing to have a group of young people who aren’t afraid to ask questions and we benefit from having their new ideas and energy. I really encourage all employers to build those links with schools – it benefits all sides.”

Olivia Cole, Principal, Petchey Academy

“At Petchey Academy we invest a lot in support services for our children. We recognise that it is very important to open their eyes to the range of different options after school, from university to apprenticeships and school-leaver programmes. Career Ready has opened up opportunities for our students. While previous mentoring programmes haven’t been sustainable, this model works.” 

David Nash, Vice Principal, Petchey Academy

“The Career Ready programme has transformed our vision for careers. It has helped us to understand what the employer landscape looks like so that we can advise our students better about the range of opportunities available – not just university but apprenticeships and school leaver programmes as well. If there are three messages I’d want you to take away about Career Ready they would be:

  • It opens doors 
  • It raises aspirations and prepares students to be successful
  • It’s great fun – for students and for staff

Rhiann O’Grady, Career Ready graduate, Bromley College

“When I first joined Career Ready I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought my mentor might be just like my teacher – chasing me for my coursework – but it has been fantastic to have someone independent to give me advice and support. She told me about her career journey and asked me what my plans were. She’s helped me prepare for interviews and supported me through my internship. I know we’ll stay in touch now that I’ve finished college and when I’m a mentor in future I’ll ask her for advice on how to help students as well as she has helped me.”

Caroline Hempstead, VP Global Corporate Affairs, AstraZeneca

“AstraZeneca have been working with Career Ready since the organisation was founded and our business benefits in three main areas:

Driving STEM education – we need to recruit people who have studied STEM subjects at university, usually at post-doctorate level, and we are very short of students studying STEM subjects in the UK. If we don’t get enough people choosing these subjects we don’t get those applications.

Engaging our own people who want to give back – we’ve really enjoyed having young people in our workplace as they come with fresh perspectives and new ideas.

Engaging in the communities around us – we bring to communities jobs and great medicines and its important to give people access to us as a company to understand how and why we do what we do.”

Carolyn Savage, Head of Partnerships, National Careers Service Skills Funding Agency

“The National Careers Service provides a free, impartial and confidential careers advice service, including a phone advice line and webchat. We can answer questions from what subjects to study for specific careers to how to get an apprenticeship. We also have a skills health check tool to help young people identify what they’re really good at.

“The Skills Funding Agency also funds the National Apprenticeships Service and this is an important area of growth, with the government committing to 3 million more apprenticeships in this parliament. There is lots of support available for both schools and employers and we are particularly developing higher and degree level apprenticeships. For more information we have a free schools pack, a dedicated employer helpline and grants available for smaller employers taking on a young person for the first time.”

Laurie McLoughlin, National Careers Service local partner

“The Inspiration Agenda is an exciting offer from the National Careers Service to bring schools, colleges and employers together. We broker relationships creating links between industry and education establishments. Schools and employers don’t always speak same language and we help them to break down those barriers. Employers can have a profound impact on young people, through engagement employer benefits are countless – They can build strong relationships to open up a talent pipeline, challenge preconceptions about industry, inform on apprenticeships, higher education and further education. The benefits for young people are priceless – they can learn about new and exciting careers, get a practical insight into the world of work and a way to understand the skills and qualifications that employers require.”