Young stars of tomorrow embrace ‘A Capital Experience’

UK’s biggest kick start for young people’s professional development.

On Monday 1 December more than 40 of London’s most influential employers opened their doors to more than 1,400 students from schools and colleges across the UK to take part in A Capital Experience.

The students visited companies such as Costain, Barclays, Citi, Arsenal Football Club, Lloyds Banking Group, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, LinkedIn, The Grierson Trust, Royal Mail, Rexam, Standard Life and Santander (full list below). They had the opportunity for Q&A sessions with senior leaders and young recruits and do ‘hands-on’ activities to give them a flavour of what it’s like to work there.

For many of the students, it was the first time they had been to London or had access to such large-scale, influential businesses.

The importance of linking young people with employers was highlighted in a recent speech in Cambridge by Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Schools in England and Head of Ofsted, to the CBI. It echoes calls from the government for greater employer engagement in careers education in schools.

Anne Spackman, Career Ready Executive Director, said: “It is always fantastic to welcome students from right across the country to experience work and life in the capital. To walk into those glass and marble towers and realise that they are welcome and could work there, is an inspirational moment. 

“We hope that moment of inspiration will stay with them throughout the programme and motivate them to aim higher in their future careers.”

After the visits, the students took part in a rally at the Dominion Theatre, with motivational speaker Action Jackson. The afternoon was rounded of with entertainment from the choir of Citi bank, recently featured in the BBC’s The Choir - Sing While You Work.

James Bardrick, Managing Director of Citi and a Trustee of Career Ready, who sings in the choir, said: “Young people have to go the extra mile, be proactive and understand the basics of business in order to be career ready and get ahead. Employers need to be even more forthcoming and make a greater effort to engage with, and motivate, the talent on their doorsteps.”