Student Life is delighted to have joined forces with Career Ready UK. The organisation helps raise young people’s aspirations and bridge the gap between education and work, by providing access to real experience of the world of work. Here Career Ready’s Regional Manager for Cambridge and Ipswich, Sian Robertson introduces the charity to readers.
Career Ready is a UK wide charity that links employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people. It began in 2002 with three schools in London and focussed on supporting young people into Business & Finance roles. Thirteen years later we are working with 300 schools and colleges in all parts of the UK, specialising in additional sectors like STEM, construction and logistics.
We work with businesses throughout the UK and are lucky to have over 4000 employer volunteers from several hundred organisations working with us. Many of the companies which helped to found Career Ready are still supporting us strategically, as well as with funding and paid internships. They include Citi, S&P Global, AstraZeneca, BP, Canary Wharf Group and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
Career Ready offers structured programmes of employer engagement that enable schools and colleges to meet Ofsted careers requirements and Gatsby benchmarks. We offer a Core Programme of activity, a Masterclass Programme and a Tutorial Programme. In Ipswich and Essex we have worked alongside Business in the Community (BiTC) to deliver a specialised programme called Employability for All. The bespoke Employability for All programme combines elements of our existing tutorial and masterclass programmes, with the Careers LAB masterclasses used by BITC.
Through a series of masterclass workshops and workplace visits, we aim to enable young people in Ipswich to make well-informed choices about their future career, and to ensure that they enter the world of work prepared and able to succeed.
We consistently work with experts in education and business to develop high quality, employer-endorsed materials, which deliver a set of Skills for Career Success to help our students compete with the best in the country. These are Communication and Networking, Team Work, Organisational Skills, Managing yourself, Self-awareness, Problem Solving and Analysis, Managing your Career and Resourcefulness. These skills are at the heart of everything we do and we support students regularly in reflecting on their development of each one.
We currently have 29,000 students enrolled across all of our programmes and have worked with an additional 14,000 since 2002. In 2017 we delivered more than 3,000 individual interventions with students in Ipswich.
The Career Ready core programme supports our students even further, providing both a mentor from the world of work, and the opportunity of an internship or work placement. Our students meet with mentors on a monthly basis, in a professional setting and are responsible for maintaining their relationship. These students also take part in masterclasses and workplace visits and the first of these takes place with all Career Ready students in London.
The paid internship or work placement takes place for core programme students during their summer break and is vital in generating networks for future employment, as well as developing essential skills. 20% of the businesses that support us have recruited at least one student that they met through the Career Ready internship programme, and of the 40 students who completed an internship at Lloyds Banking Group in London in 2015, 19 were offered future employment.
In addition to the fantastic benefits of our core programme, every year we also offer a number of awards that recognise individuals who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the programme. These awards are funded by our business partners and are available for students, mentors, volunteers and the school coordinators who support us in implementing our programme. The prizes for each award are fantastic and our winning STEM students are even given the chance to travel to Geneva to see the Hadron Collider.
Career Ready is working with Student Life because we are dedicated to supporting all young people across the East of England to make good career choices. The Employability for All programme works with students age 14-18 in Ipswich schools, however we are keen to support students in joining our core programme and want to support our community in additional ways.
We really value the opportunity to speak to students through this magazine; particularly those who we may not get a chance to come in contact with face to face. We invite you to ask us any questions you may have on becoming more employable, such as; how to develop key skills for the workplace, how to write a strong letter of application or a CV, how to succeed in an interview, how to network with businesses locally, or even how to develop a strong presence on LinkedIn.
You can contact us as follows:
Career Ready UK National Office
25 Canada Square
London E14 5LB
Tel: 020 7986 5494