| Sep 4, 2023
Supporting young people into great Jobs
It has been an exciting, informative, and busy month for our sixth formers and university students who have participated in work experiences, internships, insight weeks, employability skills workshops, mentoring and networking events. Thank you to AKO Capital, PDT Partners, GHO Capital, National Grid, HSBC, and Sky who have worked alongside us to provide such brilliant experiences this month for our students. Our Year 10 students from Moreton School in Wolverhampton who are on our Pay it Forward Programme were very busy with a STEM Masterclass Day and having discussions and researching into possible higher education and career options with their one-to-one mentors. Pay it Forward is our in school-based STEM engagement programme supporting 20-30 students over the Year 10 and Year 11 academic year across 8 schools. The schools selected are based in the West Midlands and Northeast of England. We have purposefully selected schools outside of London and Greater London where students do not have as many opportunities to get additional support from social mobility programmes. The schools also have high rates of students on free school meals, high rates of students from low-income households and high rates of households where parents have not gone into higher education or have top jobs.
We are looking forward to work experience programmes with HSBC and National Grid starting in August. We look forward to the Sky and Circana internships continuing into August and the National Grid Application Preparation Mentoring Programme. We are also looking forward to two university preparation events. Our students on our STEM@Oxford Programme with Oriel College, University of Oxford will be attending another Application Preparation day where they are preparing presentations on a topic of interest related to their subject to have an academic discussion with academic tutors from the departments they are applying for, much like part of the Oxford interviews, and they will also have STEM Degree Taster classes. Students on the STEM@Cambridge programme with St John’s College, University of Cambridge will be presenting their Academic Posters at our Academic Poster Showcase and Afternoon Tea which is taking place at St John’s. The students have been working on these over July as part of the Academic Poster Competition and they will present them to academics from the subject area they are applying to. The theme which they were given this year was Dark and then they are free to interpret this in relation to their chosen degree subject.
In August we will also be continuing to plan for September activities. The activities we are planning for include our big Social Mobility Get Hired Day with National Grid on September 4th for 100 of our university students where they will participate in mock application activities such as cover letter writing, assessment centre business case studies and a mock interview. This preparation day is done ahead of applications opening in the autumn for students interested in applying for roles in Engineering, Technology and Commercial & Finance at National Grid and other companies. We are also planning another Social Mobility Get Hired Day on September 14th, at HSBC’s Sheffield office, for students interested in Technology roles, ahead of applications opening at HSBC and other companies. As well as this we have our Engineering and Technology Social Mobility Awards judging days which are two rounds for each of these two areas, we are expecting between 50-60 submissions for each one. Students must create 10-minute presentation responses to a business problem from either HSBC or National Grid. The winners will present their winning submissions at our conference in November.
At the end of July, eight of our highly talented sixth form students took part in a fantastic work experience week at Circana. The work experience involved interesting talks from a few of Circana’s clients, including FareShare, a charitable food distributor, as well as a range of workshops where the students were able to develop and learn new technical and soft skills. They learnt how to analyse Circana’s data in one workshop, and took part in a presentation skills workshop, all of which helped them with their own project which they worked on throughout the week. The project question was: Is the current cost of living crisis temporary or the new norm? The students were split into two groups of four, and both groups exceeded all expectations, producing high quality, interactive presentations. This left members of Circana’s team very impressed with how the students incorporated all that they had learned from the talks and workshops into their presentations.
Nine of our Black Women into Tech students had a fantastic time on the PDT Partners Insight. They had the opportunity to learn more about the process driven trading process which PDT Partners does, work on their own projects where they had the opportunity to really be innovative and creative with thinking about what they could do with market data they were given and then using their technical skills to create them. There were also many opportunities to network with the friendly PDT Partners employees, which the students really appreciated, to learn about their career journeys and receive advice from them.
Our Black Women into Tech students have been busy during their HSBC Technology Insight Week, hosted by HSBC at their headquarters in Canary Wharf. The aims of the week were to upskill students both technically and non-technically as well as build their commercial awareness of technology at HSBC. The students attended soft skills workshops on how to present in the workplace as well as how to get work ready which included things such as sending emails to different audiences and how to receive feedback. The students also had a workshop on design thinking and most of the week was very practical and hands-on with students working on their own group projects. They were given the task of re-imagining the digital customer experience for people with disabilities, with focus given on the following customer profiles: full vision impairment, neurodiverse (med-high functioning spectrum), physical impairment (extremely low levels of physical dexterity). Their challenge was to look at how HSBC can improve the way they deliver the digital customer experience for all these profiles. The students spent the week working on their projects with occasional assistance by volunteers from HSBC. The students really enjoyed the networking opportunities throughout the week.
Thank you to HSBC Digital Business services for hosting, volunteering their time, assisting our students and for delivering their own insightful talks and workshops. This is the third year of HSBC Digital Business Services providing such a great opportunity for our students.
It's only due to the support of our donors and delivery partners that we can make all of these excellent events happen. We thank all the organisations that make our work possible.
If you would like to support our work, get in touch or simply make a contribution