140 hours to transform a life

Career Ready,  supported by Citi Foundation,  is launching a campaign to encourage companies to offer 140 hour internships and help transform the lives of young people.

The 140 hours campaign will showcase the transformational impact of paid internships on young people aged 16-19 and how they open up a world of opportunity to young people who have the potential to succeed but lack the networks, role models and confidence of their wealthier peers. 

My internship at Citi was the most valuable, life changing opportunity I have had.  It has given me an insight into the business lifestyle, banking and how it operates. Now I’m confident of where my career pathway is heading.

Kalani De Silva-Abeysinghe, College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London

New research conducted with 7,000 young people aged 16-24 in 37 countries has found that 78% think internships are critical to career success and work experience is rated the top global factor in getting a job.

The research was conducted by Citi Foundation for the 2017 global report of its Pathways to Progress programme.

Since 2002 Career Ready has provided thousands of teenagers with internships in the offices and workplaces of its business supporters as part of a programme of employer engagement in schools. These internships, lasting four to six weeks, are the proper way to do work experience – with job descriptions, real work to do and students paid to do it. 

Companies like Citi, Santander, AstraZeneca, Freshfields, Standard Life, Diageo,  BP, DHL, Travelodge, S&P Global, Health Education England, RBS, SSE, Aviva, Wates, Centrica, Arcadis and Leidos supervise sixth form and S5 students during the summer holidays.

Latest impact data from Career Ready students shows a marked increase in work-related skills during these summer internships. That echoes findings from our US sister organisation, the globally respected National Academy Foundation, which has now set 140 hour (four week) internships as its Gold Standard. This is the period of time which allows young people to work as part of a team, to complete a project and develop confidence in the workplace. 

Research conducted by Freshminds and supported by Santander also shows the benefits to business of taking young interns:
  • - professional development
  • - early management experience for young staff 
  • - an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on their products
  • - an effective testing ground for potential recruits to high-level apprenticeships

Career Ready is campaigning to increase the number of businesses offering 140 hour internships to students.  We want to make internships the norm, not the exception, for the many, not for the few, paid rather than given to wealthy students as a perk.

As part of the campaign business leaders across a range of sectors and policy makers will be invited to a breakfast event in London to identify the barriers and highlight the benefits of  paid internships for teenagers.

If you want to be part of our 140 hours campaign or find out more, please contact Tim Bradshaw. 

Thousands of other students will be applying to the same job as me. Being able to say that I completed an internship at Santander means that I stand out from others. Now I know that I don’t have to have a degree to achieve something big in life.

Feven Alemayehu Berhanu, St Mary’s Catholic Comprehensive School, Newcastle upon Tyne