676 students from 135 schools in 14 local authority areas across Scotland celebrated completing their Career Ready programme during a digital ceremony on Thursday 18 March. A 35% rise on programme completion in 2020.

Career Ready is a social mobility charity – recognising that every student has potential yet does not necessarily have access to the networks and opportunities to unlock it.  Supporting secondary school students into employment by connecting schools with local employers by opening the world of work to young people.

Offering a structured programme for 15-18-year-olds, the programme thrives on employers delivering the four key areas of activity – mentoring, a paid internship, masterclasses, and workplace visits.  Due to COVID and subsequent lockdowns, students have participated in these activities virtually.

“I’d like to offer a massive congratulations to the 676 young people from 136 schools across Scotland who are graduating today. I wish you every success as you move forward with your new-found skills and experience – you really can do whatever you put your mind to. And to the 200+ supporting organisations and mentors, a huge thank you – Career Ready wouldn’t be possible without you.”

John Stewart, Director of HR at SEE and the Chair of Scotland Advisory Board for Career Ready

A key element of the programme in 2020 was Virtual Work Experience with some top businesses, including Diageo, Standard Life Aberdeen, SSE, BP, and Blackrock. Virtual Work Experience was provided by Career Ready and its network of employers in response to the closure of workplaces and the subsequent cancellation of in-workplace internships for young people.

“It’s been a privilege knowing and learning from every Career Ready student, and we wish them happiness and success with their next steps. And thank you to every organisation and mentor who dedicates themselves to developing Scotland’s young talent.”

Anne Wexelstein, Career Ready Director for Scotland 

The Career Ready programme continues its planned growth, with 143 schools now involved in 18 local authorities.  The quality of experiences and impact from the Career Ready community of partners was yet again recently confirmed in the destination outcomes of the previous year’s graduate students, with 98% in higher or further education, employment or training.

There are over 1300 young people currently enrolled on the programme who are being supported by over 300 organisations and more than 1300 volunteers.