On Wednesday 08 December, employers helped 1,219 young people from across the UK take their first steps towards career success with the launch of the 2021 Career Ready programme.

The virtual ‘A Capital Experience’ event saw young people aged 16-18 enjoy an afternoon of workplace visits at some of the UK’s top employers, skills masterclasses, and inspirational talks from Greg Rutherford, Olympic gold medallist, and Chris van der Kuyl, Co-Founder of 4J studios – best known for developing console versions of bestselling game, Minecraft.

Over the next 18 months, students on the Career Ready programme will receive the employer support they need to thrive in education and employment by developing vital workplace skills, confidence, and experience, including:

The launch of the 2021-23 Career Ready programme comes at a time when young people are facing severe challenges in education and employment.

  • 70% of Career Ready students said they felt their education had suffered or would suffer as a result of the pandemic1
  • 61% of employers cancelled workplace experience programmes because of COVID2

“The pandemic has meant that young people are facing challenges like never before. Education has been disrupted and workplace opportunities cut. We can’t risk a generation of lost talent so it’s critical that we give invest in young talent and give young people the support they need to thrive.

I would like to say a big thank you to all those employers who made A Capital Experience possible and who are working with us to give young people a platform for success, their continued support will make a lasting difference to young lives for years to come”.

Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, Career Ready CEO

Research shows that employer engagement is crucial in helping young people become career ready, as ‘young adults who recall four or more employer-led activities at school are five times less likely to be NEET’. And research carried out by Opinium and Career Ready into the long-term impact of the programme found that:

  • 95% of alumni obtained further or higher education qualifications
  • 87% of alumni said Career Ready had a positive impact on their life
  • 72% of alumni said their internship helped them meet people who could support them with their career

A Capital Experience was made possible thanks to the support of the Citi Foundation, who sponsored the event, as well as 27 employers from across the UK who hosted a mix of virtual and in-person workplace visits. Employers hosting workplace visits included:

  • AIG
  • Arcadis
  • Aviva
  • British Land
  • BUPA
  • Citi Group
  • Financial Times
  • Foxtons
  • Marsh
  • Moodys Foundation
  • Savills
  • Turner & Townsend
  • Wates
  • Wells Fargo

Career Ready works across the UK to connect young people with employers and workplace opportunities. Find out more about joining Career Ready’s network of employers.

Notes to editors 

  1.  Covid-19 Impacts: Access to the Workplace, The Sutton Trust
  2. ibid

Career Ready is a UK-wide social mobility charity that links schools and colleges with employers to help prepare young people for the world of work. Career Ready was founded in 2002 and currently works across the UK to support young people from less advantaged backgrounds.

Career Ready currently supports over 70,000 young people in over 400 schools across the UK, with more than 1,000 employers and approximately 2,500 employer volunteers.  In partnership with employers and volunteers, Carer Ready delivers a targeted programme of paid internships, mentoring, workplace visits, and skills masterclasses for young people.

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