City of London Business Traineeship (CBT) programme helps state school pupils fulfil their career potential.
31 May 16

City of London Business Traineeship (CBT) programme

Around £90,000 a year for three years from September 2015, from the City of London Corporation

Sixty per cent of financial services leaders are independently educated and just a quarter attended state comprehensives, the 2014 Pathways to Banking report by The Boston Consulting Group for The Sutton Trust found.

CBT was launched by the City of London Corporation in 2000 to boost social mobility and City firms’ diversity and competitiveness, by nurturing the skills of state school leavers in the Square Mile’s seven “fringe” boroughs. Youth employment charity The Brokerage Citylink has been running the programme for the corporation since it launched.

CBT is open to Year 13 state school and college pupils in Camden, Hackney, Islington, Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Westminster. Pupils are invited to register and need at least grade B in GCSE English and maths, and A and B predictions at A-Level. In pupils’ first term, The Brokerage delivers presentations about CBT and financial services careers such as accountancy, law and banking. The process starts with a group interview at The Brokerage’s city offices giving staff an idea of each pupil’s career aspirations and skills. This is followed by masterclasses to develop participants’ employability skills, such as CV writing and interviewing. After Easter, participating firms announce details of their internships, which The Brokerage distributes to participants. Pupils send applications to the charity, which selects the most promising and provides further training to prepare applicants for interview.

Successful applicants are offered summer internships of between six and 13 weeks after A-Levels, earning them between £350 and £450 per week. “It’s a proper wage for a proper job; they’re not just filing and making coffee,” explains executive director Bridget Gardiner. Around 100 applicants get an internship each year. “We don’t delude them into thinking they’ll all get one; life is competitive, so they have to compete,” Gardiner adds. “But they all gain increased confidence, as well as improved CV and interview techniques.” The Brokerage carries out mid-placement and end-of-placement reviews. A survey last year found 62 per cent of participants came from households with incomes under £25,000.

The programme has led to internships for nearly 1,400 teenagers since 2002. Of 214 former interns surveyed by The Brokerage last summer, 49 per cent said they were still working in professional services, law, business, banking, insurance or similar fields, after internships between 2001 and 2011. 


First published in Children & Young People Now

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