Eight weeks into my new role as Executive Director of The Brokerage, and I could not be more positive about all the work we deliver to inspire, motivate and encourage young people to pursue careers in this exciting sector.
We are grateful to WCIB for its generous support for our work since 2003, notably our flagship schools programme “Working in the City” which aims to increase young people’s understanding of the City with a view to raising their career aspirations. As we reach the end of the most recent three year funding stream 2012-2015, I am extremely proud of what our schools team has accomplished over the period, delivering 220 workshops to 3628 young people from 78 schools with more to go this academic year. To achieve this, we worked with 38 companies that generously hosted workshops on their premises, and with 835 of their staff volunteering to present and speak to the groups of young people.
This trusted and much sought after programme for Years 9-13 provides two half day workshops to small groups of students (usually around 20) from schools across the 16 London boroughs we work with. There they learn about careers that people in the City do through interactive exercises, e.g. The Trading Game, and by talking with ‘real’ employees who outline their job role, education and career path to date.
Reflecting on her involvement with the programme over the past three years, Katrina Arnold, Head of Compliance Monitoring and Testing, GBM at HSBC and WCIB member said:
“Some of the young people I have met at workshops have stayed in contact, telling me of their successes in examinations and onward progression to university. Among the most memorable was being thanked by a student for encouraging her to aim higher with a university choice (she succeeded!). She is indebted to The Brokerage for encouraging her to network.”
We could not offer the large number of workshops available in the “Working in the City” programme without the tremendous support we have from so many companies who allow us to use their meeting rooms, presentation space and staff time for free. We are always keen to develop new relationships with more City firms and individuals, and invite WCIB members to approach us if they are interested in getting involved. Host companies also benefit as staff gain valuable skills, experience and fulfilment by engaging with young people.
Education policy is now focused on improving careers information and guidance to young people throughout their school years. All schools must help every pupil develop high aspirations and consider a broad and ambitious range of careers and are inspected on this.
Our “Working in the City” programme ticked all these boxes long before government policy introduced statutory requirements. Raising aspirations amongst disadvantaged young people and creating diversity in the City by providing experiences and opportunities in the financial sector has been the motivation for all our work since we were founded in 1996 and the support we receive from WCIB and its members is invaluable.