1,006 young people aged 16-18 across the UK are gaining the workplace skills and experience needed to fix the skills and attainment gap, thanks to the support of employers providing internships.

As part of the Career Ready programme, 214 employers of all sizes and sectors will open their (virtual) doors to young people and give them the practical experience and support they need to kickstart their futures, levelling up the UK’s talent and boosting social mobility.

The employers taking practical action to invest in young people on the Career Ready programme include some of the UK’s leading employers, such as Aviva, BP, Citi, British Land, Diageo, Mathy’s & Squire, Marsh, Mitie, Morgan Stanley Mountain Warehouse, PA Consulting, Science in Sport, St. James’ Place Wealth Management Group, the Scottish Government, Standard Life Aberdeen, and SSE.

“There’s never been a more critical moment to invest in young people. The pandemic has cut the workplace opportunities available to young people, reducing social mobility. The most effective way to address this issue is for employers to invest in young people via internships and workplace experiences. We’d like to thank our network of employer supporters for showing real commitment to the next generation of talent.”

Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, Career Ready CEO

The internships will run throughout June and July, with the majority being paid placements of at least four weeks, and are delivered digitally to comply with employer and government guidelines, with face-to-face experiences where permitted.

“At Citi, we have large focus on developing and hiring diverse talent, which we believe brings tremendous value to our organisation. Through our Pathways to Progress initiative and our partnership with Career Ready, we are looking to grow our pipeline of future talent and improve opportunities for social mobility. This year we are delighted to be hosting 105 students across 20 business functions for four-weeks. These paid internships provide openings for students from schools and colleges and with backgrounds that have not traditionally had access to these types of opportunities to become Career Ready and to test and hone their employability skills, build valuable networks, and gain insight and experience in the workplace.”

James Bardrick, Citi Country Officer for the UK  

Research carried out by Opinium, made possible thanks to the support of Citi Foundation, shows that this will help boost social mobility, enable young people to gain vital skills, and connect employers with future talent:

  • 98% of Career Ready students go onto sustained work, education, or apprenticeships following the programme, compared to 86% of their non-programme peers
  • 90% of interns said the experience helped them develop key employability skills
  • 72% of employers would hire their Career Ready intern
  • 87% of former interns said the Career Ready programme had a positive impact on their life

Career Ready is a UK-wide social mobility charity whose mission is to improve the social mobility of young people through a range of employability programmes which give them the skills, confidence, and networks needed to enjoy success in education and employment.

Over the last year, Career Ready has supported 72,898 young people and delivered 177,726 employability activities, through a network of employer, volunteers, schools, and colleges.

To find out more, for further comment, or high-res images, please contact tom.rippon@careerready.org.uk    

Get involved