From education to employment

Employers boost young people’s skills and attainment with UK-wide internship scheme

man on laptop

Employers invest in future workforce with UK-wide internship scheme

1,200 young people aged 15-18 across the UK are gaining the workplace skills and experience needed to fix the skills and attainment gap thanks to the support of employers.

As part of the Career Ready programme, 301 employers of all sizes and across all sectors are opening their doors to young people and giving them the practical experience and support they need to kickstart their futures, levelling up the UK’s talent and boosting social mobility.

The internships will run throughout July and August, the majority of which are paid placements for at least four weeks and are a hybrid of both in-person and virtual working . Working within a team and supported by a dedicated line manager, the young people will network with colleagues, develop important employability skills and contribute to team projects.

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, Bupa,British Land, Citi, CBRE,Diageo,Mathy’s & Squire,Marsh, Morgan Stanley,Mountain Warehouse, NatWest, Permira, Savills, the Scottish Government, SSE, Wates.

James Bardrick, Citi Country Officer for the UK & Chief Executive of Citigroup Global Markets Limited said: 

“Youth unemployment and the accompanying loss of talent is a persistent problem, which was exacerbated by the pandemic. At Citi we’re committed to playing our part to address this with our Pathways to Progress initiative. This year, our partnership with Career Ready has provided  65 young people with a paid internship at Citi. There is a huge amount of valuable new learning and understanding between our people and the interns.

Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, Career Ready CEO said:

“There’s never been a more critical moment to invest in young talent. The pandemic reduced social mobility and caused a potential future skills gap that we urgently need to resolve. The most effective way to fix this is for employers to invest in young people via paid internships and mentoring. We urge more businesses to join us in helping young people to launch their careers.”

Research carried out by Opinium, made possible thanks to the support of the 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 that links schools and colleges with employers to 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 underrepresented backgrounds.

Career Ready currently supports over 1,200 young people through a targeted programme of paid internships, mentoring, workplace visits, and skills masterclasses for young people aged 15-18 across England, Scotland, Wales, Scotland Northern Ireland.

Related Articles