Newsletter - Issue 12
01 Jul 11

Welcome...

... to our last newsletter edition of the 2010/11 academic year, and what a year it was! We've never been interested in standing still though, so this edition is all about looking forward.

In this issue:

Working in the City looking ahead to 2011/12

Record breaking year for City of London Business Traineeship Programme

Spending summer in the City with the Brokerage

Case study: Brokerage alumni

A day in the life of...

Students train to gain

New recruits open doors

Prizes galore for City 4a Day winnners

Starting the Smart way

New employability initiative for 6th formers

Part of our preparations for the new academic year was the first ever Working in the City stakeholder consultation and review, where we invited our school and corporate contacts into the City to discuss the future of the Brokerage's drive to raise aspirations among young Londoners.

One particular area of discussion struck a bit of a chord with everyone - the importance of good networking skills in the City. This skill, often overlooked or dismissed as cliché by young people aspiring towards a City career, is one that we're determined to highlight even more in our workshops.

But networking is not just for young, bright go-getters, it's important for charities too. And so the theme of this edition of our newsletter is NETWORKING. We hope that the stories in this edition highlight how we use our networks to help us achieve our aims, and we'd also like to encourage you to assist us in our endless networking drive! Please consider:

  • Forwarding this newsletter, or our Working in the City annual report, onto anyone that you think might be interested in our work. This could be friends, colleagues, clients, partner organisations, teachers, students or just about anyone else you can think of.
  • If you're hosting an event for us, maybe you could get employees from a partner/client organisation involved too. Maybe even other organisations that you share a building with could get involved. Potentially an interesting, rewarding and very different cross-company networking opportunity for your employees!
  • Mention us in any reports, school newsletters, press releases or on your staff intranet, websites, twitter feeds, noticeboards or whatever else can help us to get our names out there.

 

Thanks for reading and thanks again for your support for our work. Enjoy the summer and we look forward to working with you very soon.


Working in the City team working hard to make 2011/12 programme better than ever before

An incredible 2,965 young people were able to experience the financial district last year, thanks to the support of 50 companies and institutions. The team organised and delivered 262 workplace visits with students from 92 inner London schools and colleges. There's more remarkable statistics, along with some wonderful workshop pictures and quotes from students, teachers and parents, in the Working in the City 2010/11 annual review - available to download from our website now.

After a record-breaking year, there's only really one thing for the team to do - set about making 11/12 even bigger and better! And if you'd like to get involved then read on for details.

This June saw the first ever Working in the City stakeholder consultation and review, where we got together with the two key groups of people that really make our workshops possible: our corporate supporters and our school contacts. We had a fantastic turnout of supporters, both old and new, for a really productive afternoon at Deutsche Bank. In all, we had representatives from seven companies and four schools and colleges from across London.

We came away from Deutsche full of ideas and fresh inspiration for new directions for our workshops and more, and we hope that our other attendees found it just as enlightening. We focussed the agenda on Working in the City, and our other workshop programmes, but much more was touched on in the short time we had. Indeed, this time seemed to run out all too quickly and we're sure that there was much more that everyone would have liked to have covered.

Just a few of the key points and ideas for our workshops were:

  • Corporate supporters like the simple and non-time consuming but effective and enjoyable volunteering opportunities in our workshops, particularly in the first part of Working in the City; a similarly flexible and straightforward opportunity for the second part would be appreciated.
  • During workshops, more focus (and perhaps a dedicated exercise) could be on "professional behaviour", especially for younger (GCSE) students. For older (A Level) students, the importance of effective networking should be emphasised.
  • Schools would appreciate more flexibility and choice in when workshops take place. One suggestion was offering the option for students to complete the usually two-part workshop programme over one day.

 

A huge thank you to everyone that attended and contributed to the afternoon - and if you weren't able to get involved this time, don't worry as we really enjoyed this event and so we're keen to do something similar again. If you have any thoughts or feedback on our workshop programmes, we would be very happy to hear from you.

We can't wait to bring the improved and updated Working in the City programme to a new cohort of young Londoners. Here's how you can get involved:

If you are an employer interested in giving a group of our students a unique and valuable experience then please get in touch. All our workshops have been (and continue to be) carefully developed to be easy and enjoyable to coordinate and volunteer for. We facilitate the entire workshop, with key involvement from company volunteers during certain activities. All volunteering opportunities are simple, suitable for employees in any part of your business and they require a minimum amount of time - with very little or no prior preparation necessary.

With a range of hosting and volunteering opportunities available (with students from ages 11-18, and group sizes of 15-50), pretty much any company in the finance and business sectors could have a group visit them. And, whether you're able to host one workshop a year or twenty-one, your business will be supporting a programme that is making a real difference to the career aspirations and prospects of thousands of young people across London.

If you're a teacher/staff member at a school in one of the 13 eligible inner-London boroughs, then we would love to hear from you. Bookings for Working in the City are now available, and the programme is free for schools and colleges in eligible boroughs. We can also put you on our regular teacher mailing list for further City opportunities (with updates including everything from workshops, to free resources to job opportunities for your current or ex-students) - so please get in touch!

The team are also available to visit schools to assist with careers and enterprise events and to support areas of the curriculum by delivering workshop materials in class. Thanks to our Outreach programme, there is generally no charge for this service.

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Record breaking year for the City of London Business Traineeship programme

Lots to celebrate this summer, as more than 100 lucky students are going to be getting invaluable work experience in the City before they go on to university thanks to the City of London Business Traineeship programme. This is more than ever before, and what a wonderful record to break when there is so much doom and gloom being reported elsewhere on high youth unemployment and the still significant barriers to social mobility.

CBT studentsAll our internship candidates are from state schools and colleges, and either work or study in the City fringe boroughs - which include many areas with the highest rates of deprivation and unemployment in the UK. The successful candidates will be getting an internship at a top City company lasting 6-12 weeks, where they will be an integral part of their organisation and gaining real experience of working life in the Square Mile. All internships are paid at the going rate for a similar role at the organisation.

Just some of the companies providing placements this summer are Allen & Overy, Beazley, Michael Page and UBS, along with many, many more from across the City sectors. Candidates will be working in a wide variety of business areas, including HR, technology, underwriting, wealth management and more.

The scheme is the City of London Corporation's flagship local recruitment initiative, managed and delivered on their behalf by the Brokerage. For more information on their drive to bring lasting social, economic and physical regeneration to the City fringe boroughs, please see their website.

To discuss how your organisation can get involved in the scheme, please contact Melissa Lucien.

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Interested in spending some of your summer with the Brokerage?

Just a quick note for any students interested in spending a few days with us in the City this summer. Our Working in the City courses start at the end of July and end mid-August, and are being run in partnership with the Futureversity and Summer University schemes. The free, two-day courses will be hosted by various companies in the City and Canary Wharf and give participants an insight into City careers and the skills needed to be a success.

If you are interested in attending, you can find details and enrol through the Futureversity / Summer University websites of Camden, Enfield, Greenwich, Newham and Tower Hamlets. There's loads of other fantastic courses available too, make sure you check them out so you can make the most of your summer!

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Alumni case study: Matt Allen

Matt Allen had a 6 week placement with Page Personnel through the City of London Business Traineeship programme in 2007. Here's his story;

"I was studying A-Levels in Business, History, Government & Politics and ICT at Forest Hill School, living in Southwark, when Jonathan and Melissa from the Brokerage came in to my school to talk about the City of London Business Traineeship programme. I wanted to be a lawyer, and I didn't have plans for the summer so it seemed like a great opportunity. I wanted to do something which would stand out on my CV and perhaps lead to future work placements.

I registered and went through the selection process. I was hoping for a placement in one of the big law firms, but the CBT programme is very competitive so I decided to be flexible about my choices and because of this I secured a placement with Page Personnel instead, and had a fantastic time.

Working in a recruitment agency I gained many transferrable skills and learned a lot about how to be employable, how to write a good CV, how to conduct myself at interview and how to sell myself over the phone.

My advice to a new CBT would be to do as much as you can, put yourself forward for jobs and don't be afraid to put forward ideas. You bring a fresh perspective, which can be very valuable.

After the placement I started a degree in Law at Kings College, but after a year I knew it wasn't for me. My experience with Page Personnel gave me the confidence to look for a job. I called them and they gave me a job for 3 months before placing me with AIG as a Pensions Administrator. Now I am a Benefit Assessor for Legal & General, I've been here two and a half years and have been promoted three times. My ambition is to be a Director, that's the path I am on with Legal & General.

If I hadn't done the CBT programme, I would have had no experience of the world of work and I don't know how I would have got a job. Those 6 weeks changed my life."

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A day in the life of our Outreach programme

Our Outreach programme continues to get busier. In the Summer Term alone, we have run or taken part in 28 events in schools in 11 boroughs. At these events we have worked with around 1400 students ranging from Year 7 to Year 12, In the light of this growing demand, we are delighted that our long-term supporter Deutsche Bank has pledged funding to the programme for a further 3 years.

The Schools Team's diary for one day, 16th June, illustrates the typical demand and range of activities we're involved in:

9.00

Irene is in the office to do mock interviews with Charter School 6th Formers, following on from an employability event she had helped with in the school on the previous day.

9.10

Frank and Abigail start the day at Quintin Kynaston School in St John's Wood where they run our trading game twice with Sixth formers.

12.30

Abby and Frank finish at QK. Frank heads straight across town to St Martin's-in-the-fields School, Tulse Hill, to run a work experience preparation session with Year 10. Meanwhile Abigail heads back to the City to run, with Irene, our trading game with a group of A Level students visiting the BPP Business School next to the Gherkin.

12.30

Irene finishes the mock interviews for the morning (there will be one more at the end of the afternoon) and walks over to BPP.

1.00

Irene and Abby start the session at BPP.

1.35

Frank starts the work experience session at St Martins.

2.30

Having finished the work experience preparation at St Martins, Frank heads off back across London to Chalk Farm to run a session on interview skills with 6th formers at Haverstock Scool before they have placement interviews.

5.00

All done - 3 schools and 1 City venue visited and around 100 young people helped on their pathway towards the world of work. A good knowledge of your way around London is a key skill in this job!

And if you're wondering where Graham was - he was off ill, but even he was working hard and coordinating things remotely from his sofa.

Roll on the summer holidays! If you'd like us to visit your school or college, please contact Frank for details.

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Brokerage students train to gainStudents at the CISI

Over the past few years we have seen many Brokerage A Level students successfully fly through the "Professional Development in Banking" course, run in conjunction with the European College of Business Management. This year is no different, as twenty students have undertaken the course and the early signs are good for yet another year of high pass rates.

Another twenty Brokerage students also took part in the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments' "Introduction to Financial Markets" course. This intensive course is designed to give students a real insight into the City and demystify some of the terminology and jargon unique to the Square Mile.

 

Darryl RuglessFinally, Kaplan Business School have again offered two of our students a unique opportunity to receive a full scholarship for a University of London degree starting in October 2011. This once in a lifetime opportunity is being offered only to Brokerage A Level students. In the past Brokerage students who have joined the Business School have gone on to highly successful careers within the City.

For more details of this fantastic joint venture, take a look at the video (starring our very own Jonathan Ray) on this page of Kaplan's website.


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New recruits at the Bank open doors for the next generation

More than 80 students descended on Threadneedle Street this summer, thanks to the Bank of England and its A Level Trainees. Cohorts from London Nautical Boys School and Morpeth School each spent half a day in the City taking part in the City Careers Open House programme, getting an insight into some of the unique careers available in the UK's central bank and the wider City.

The workshops were given an unusual spin as the Bank gave their new cohort of A level entrants the task of coordinating and co-facilitating the afternoons - making them as much Learning & Development opportunities as Community Outreach. This was also a great chance for the participants to meet some young City entrants just a few years ahead of them.

Thanks to all the trainees and to the Community Relations team at the Bank for setting up these wonderful workshops!

City Careers Open House is a City of London programme, delivered on their behalf by the Brokerage, and part of their commitment to raise the career aspirations of young people in the City fringe boroughs. The workshops are a perfect opportunity to get lots of employees volunteering for one event, and for more details please contact Abigail Sampson.

All our workshops include volunteering opportunities that could provide a very different and effective chance for your employees to develop their skills, and several companies have used our workshops with young people as part of their Graduate/A Level trainee programmes - if you'd like to discuss this possibility, please get in touch.

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Prizes galore 4 our workshop winners

Forget the X Factor, the hardest contest to judge this summer was for the City of London Corporation's City 4a Day Poster Competition. The participants during City 4a Day, a workshop programme for Key Stage 3 students delivered by the Brokerage on behalf of the City of London, have to work in groups to design a recruitment campaign for their host company - with the brief to make it as informative and eye-catching as possible using the inspiration and information that they've picked up throughout their day in the City. We choose the best campaign from each workshop to go forward to be judged by our expert panel - and the best of the year as picked by our judges win a cash prize for their school.

City 4a Day winnersOur judging panel this year was Paul Sizeland, Director of Economic Development at the City of London, and our very own Chief Executive, Deborah Xavier. We had a really strong field for them to choose from, but after much deliberation they chose to award the prizes to:

Runner up prize (£50): Globe Academy, Southwark

Runner up prize (£50): Haverstock School, Camden

1st Prize (£100): The Charter School, Southwark

 

All the winning teams were invited back into the City for a prize-giving morning at the City of London's Marketing Suite at the Guildhall - it was wonderful seeing the teams again and thanks to the teachers that arranged for them to attend. Not only did the students receive their winners' certificates, but they also had an extra bonus prize of a guided tour of the Roman amphitheatre ruins underneath the Guildhall - a real meeting of the City's ancient past and its bright future!

City 4a Day is a workshop programme bringing groups of students into the City for a whole day, during which the participants will experience the "wow" factor of the Square Mile with visits to several City organisations and the opportunity to work with a variety of City employees - designed to be a fun and memorable introduction to the City and the wider world of work for Key Stage 3 students. This programme is part of the City of London Corporation's commitment to raising the career aspirations of young people in the City fringe boroughs - see their website for details of how they are achieving this aim.

The workshops are also a popular hosting and volunteering opportunity for companies. Smaller groups and a choice of timings make the workshops easy to coordinate, while the flexibility of the programme means that we can include a real variety of volunteering activities and almost any company could get involved in hosting.

Please contact the programme manager for more information.

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Students Start the Smart way at Allen & Overy

Smart Start participantsThis summer saw the third Allen & Overy Smart Start Experience, and it was the biggest yet. 117 sixth formers from schools and colleges from across London spent a whole week at the top international law firm, developing their teamwork, communication and presentation skills while making a whole host of new friends along the way.

Working with employees from A&O and their partner organisations, the participants had a challenging and inspiring insight into working life at a big City firm and it will be a real kick start for their future careers. Having well over a hundred young people in the office for a week is no small task, and our thanks are due to Sue Wisbey and the rest of the Community Affairs team at A&O for making this award-winning initiative possible!

As well as marketing the scheme to some of our schools and recruiting the students, Abby also spent the whole week at A&O helping the Experience to run smoothly.

 

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New Mock Assessment Centre programme for Sixth Formers

In these competitive times even academic excellence and good evidence of transferable skills does not guarantee success in getting onto a graduate programme. One effect of social disadvantage is that even the brightest students are likely to be less aware of the hoops they will have to jump through to build a career that fulfils their potential.

With this in mind a few months ago with the help of the Bank of England's Community Relations and HR teams we piloted a mock selection centre workshop for academically able sixth formers. Groups from Thomas Tallis, Dunraven and Haverstock schools came to the Bank to take part and the event went very well, one teacher saying "it developed the students' confidence and will encourage highly able students who previously would have not even contemplated an application". Another school contact said that it was "Hugely useful to gain insight into this process as it really helps students understand the competitive process of securing a desirable position."

Following the pilot we are delighted to announce that Deutsche Bank has agreed to fund a programme of mock centres over the next year. The pilot session was based on the Bank of England's assessment centre but Frank Funnell will now be developing our own mock centre and would appreciate the chance to talk to recruiters about their centre so he can build a realistic model. Please get in touch with Frank if you can help.

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We hope you have enjoyed reading this edition of our newsletter. Thanks to all the students, teachers and corporate supporters that make our work possible.

If you'd like to talk about anything in this newsletter, or any other aspect of our work, please don't hesitate to contact us.

 
Regards,
 
The Brokerage Citylink Team
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