Open your doors and boost social mobility, employers told

Career Ready has called on employers to open their doors and provide young people from lower-income backgrounds with the experiences of work they need to transition from education to rewarding employment. The call was made direct to employers at GatsbyLIVE on Tuesday 16 October, an event supported by the Citi Foundation.

Evidence* shows that experiences of work improves young people’s employability skills, motivation to work at school, and their career readiness. Young people who recall four or more employer encounters are five times less likely to be NEET and earn – on average – 18% more.

Providing first-hand experiences of the world of work is a key part of the Department for Education’s Careers Strategy**, which details that "Every pupil should have first-hand experiences of the workplace through work visits, work shadowing and/or work experience." - Gatsby Good Career Guidance, Benchmark 6 (Department for Education, Careers Strategy)

A 500,000 gap currently exists in the workplace experiences needed to ensure that every young person meets this benchmark. This can be fixed by ensuring that every employer provides one experience of work every year for every 25 employees they have in their organisation.

Career Ready is calling on employers across the UK to help bridge this gap by opening their doors and deliver easy-to-manage, high-impact activities such as paid internships, workplace visits and masterclasses to young people. On average, Career Ready students recall nine employer encounters, compared to the benchmark of four.

Speaking at GatsbyLIVE on Tuesday 16 October, Anne Spackman, Career Ready CEO, said:

  • “Experiences of the workplace are a key benchmark of the Department for Education’s career strategy as evidence shows that they are proven to help young people, especially those from lower-income backgrounds, move from education to rewarding employment. However, there’s a 0.5m gap in experiences needed to ensure that every young person meets this benchmark.”
  • “Employers can give an authentic picture of work that schools alone cannot convey so we’re calling on organisations of all sizes to help us bridge this gap by opening their doors and providing high-impact, easy-to-manage, experiences such as workplace visits, masterclasses and paid internships to young people.”

Speaking at GatsbyLIVE on Tuesday 16 October, James Bardrick, Citi Country Officer for the UK & Chief Executive of Citi Global Markets, said:

  • “Providing young people with experiences of works is something no business will regret – it opens up a new talent pipeline and gives you the opportunity to develop your existing workforce. We’ve had 97 paid Career Ready interns at Citi this year. It’s great for the interns, it’s great for our young managers who supervise them – and it creates a real buzz in the building. There is a huge amount of valuable learning and new understanding between our people and the interns.”

The Citi Foundation have already committed to helping young people to develop critical employability skills through their $100 million Pathways to Progress initiative, launched globally in 2017. Career Ready and Citi have worked together since 2002 to help connect young people with the world of work. Career Ready and the Citi Foundation continue to work together with a new grant of $600,000 reaching more young people than ever.

Over the next three years, Career Ready will work with employers to ensure that 90,000 young people across the UK, every year, get the workplace experiences they need to kickstart rewarding futures.

If you would like to find out more about how your organisation can transform young lives then visit www.careerready.org.uk

ENDS

Notes to editors

Evidence cited:

* What Works: Work experience, job shadowing and workplace visits, Careers & Enterprise Company October 2017 |  Dr Anthony Mann, Education & Employers Taskforce

** DfE: Careers Strategy – making the most of everyone’s skills and talents
*** Careers and Enterprise Company: Closing the Gap

About Career Ready

  • Career Ready is a UK-wide charity that links schools and colleges with employers to help prepare young people for the world of work.
  • The Career Ready programme provides young people with the following activities: mentoring, paid internships, workplace visits, masterclasses, careers in the curriculum, assemblies, tutorials and career workshops. Volunteering opportunities in all these areas of work are available.
  • Career Ready currently supports over 29,000 young people in over 300 schools across the UK, with more than 700 employers and approximately 4,000 employer volunteers delivering the programme. 98% of young people go onto a positive destination after graduating.
  • Career Ready and Citi have been working together since 2002. You can find out more about our work together here: https://careerready.org.uk/case-study/career-ready-citi-working-together...
  • Career Ready is cited as an example of best practice for employer engagement in the latest statutory government guidance for both schools and colleges, as well as in the CBI Scotland report, Delivering Excellence - A New Approach for Schools in Scotland.

About Citi and the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation have committed to helping young people to develop critical employability skills through their $100 million Pathways to Progress initiative, launched globally in 2017. Career Ready and the Citi Foundation continue to work together with a new grant of $600,000 reaching more young people than ever.