Metropolitan Police Service and EY Foundation launch first ever joint internship scheme for young Londoners from low income backgrounds.
Of all the things 17-year-old Caira thought she would be doing during lockdown, going behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Police Service was not one of them.
But thanks to the charity EY Foundation, she spent half term with the Met’s Corporate Services team, she’ll be back for more work experience during the Easter holidays, and she has a career mentor for the rest of the year.
Met Futures is the first ever partnership between EY Foundation and the Metropolitan Police – with both organisations committed to increasing opportunity for young people from diverse and low income backgrounds.
20 young people are participating in the scheme, which includes employability skills training, paid work experience, and 10 months of mentoring.
Students hear from Met staff about their own career journeys, learn about effective CV writing, take part in mock interviews, and have the opportunity to work on a social enterprise idea for a business challenge that they then pitch to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel of judges.
Lockdown means the work experience takes place virtually, and the previous months of isolation from her peers presented an extra challenge for Caira.
‘During lockdown, I lost confidence speaking to people, but we had mock interviews which helped, and talking to the Dragon’s Den panel really improved my public speaking skills.
‘I already had psychology in mind before the Met Futures experience but I am definitely more encouraged now. My mentor works in psychology at the Met and she explained to me that it’s not just counselling and mental health, there are lots more opportunities, like business psychology, helping people be a better leader in the workplace.’
EY Foundation Acting CEO, Lynne Peabody said:
‘This is a hugely challenging time for young people looking for their first job. It’s brilliant to be working with the Metropolitan Police, one of the biggest employers in London. This programme showcases the variety of opportunities available within the Met to diverse, young talent from across the capital, who may not otherwise be aware of the range of careers in this sector.’
Anita, 17, has broadened her horizons since joining the programme.
‘I was interested in criminology before this programme, but Met Futures really opened my eyes and I’m looking at lots of other options in the Met.’
‘It was really nice to see and meet the speakers and hear their journey of how they got to where they are today. I don’t know a lot of people that work in those areas, so it was really interesting.’
‘We did workshops on sorting out a LinkedIn page and writing a CV which were really useful, and the Dragon’s Den was the highlight of the week. We haven’t found out who’s won yet, we find out in April at the graduation.’