ING (@ING_news) is partnering with the East London Business Alliance (@OurELBA) to launch ELBA EDGE, a new digital and social mobility skills programme for young people in the UK.   

Launched earlier this year, the ELBA EDGE programme will host 50 participants aged between 18 to 24 year-olds who are currently unemployed and seeking employment opportunities. Over the course of a year, the programme will provide participants training on digital skills and employability, as well as a paid employment placement within areas such as retail banking, insurance or professional services. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has heightened the need for better and more widely available digital skills training, and addressing the digital divide is a key priority when it comes to fighting inequality. The ELBA EDGE programme aims to deliver digital skills training to those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds who require these skills to learn, train and thrive in today’s employment market. 

Since the start of the pandemic, ING raised and donated millions for short-term relief through initiatives in 25 countries, as well as €2 million for UNICEF’s global coronavirus appeal. The ELBA EDGE programme is part of ING’s global Covid-19 recovery response to help communities by supporting projects in areas such as financial health, sustainable employment and digital skills. 

Since 2015, ING and ELBA have partnered on the ING Eagles intern initiative to support graduates from the boroughs around the City of London who are most impacted by low socioeconomic backgrounds. It provides the training they need to compete with other, more experienced candidates, whilst paying them the London Living Wage. Since the launch of the ING Eagles initiative, 93% of interns have gone on to realise their professional ambitions or study for post-graduate qualifications.

Commenting on ELBA EDGE, Anjali Tull, Head of Human Resources, UK and Middle East and Wholesale Banking EMEA, ING said:

“ING is proud to partner with ELBA on the ELBA EDGE programme. There is a wealth of untapped talent and high potential on our doorstep that is currently undervalued, underrepresented and these young people are not getting the opportunities they deserve. With the global pandemic disproportionately affecting the employment prospects of young people, we believe it is important to create possibilities for everyone. The pandemic has placed the spotlight firmly on digital skills and this programme will equip its trainees with the digital skills needed to help them succeed in their future careers.”  

Ian Parkes, Chief Executive, ELBA said:

“We are pleased to launch the ELBA EDGE initiative and look forward to welcoming the participants to the digital skills and employability programme. London has an ambitious young population who have felt the adverse economic consequences of Covid-19 but are still eager to make their mark on the professional world. Thanks to ING’s continued support, these young Londoners can ready themselves for the new world of work.” 

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