City of London invests in career opportunities for care leavers
Tue, 26 Jun 2012
The City of London Corporation is launching a new programme to introduce young people between the age of 16 and 20 who are leaving care to career and higher education opportunities.
The City Opportunities programme is being delivered by London South Bank University (LSBU) with support from the City HR Association. It follows a successful pilot last year.
Under the five-day courses, care leavers work with LSBU students, sampling university life first hand, attending taster lectures and seminars, as well as being given guidance on financial support, workshops on careers routes and a tour of a City employer.
Currently, only 5% of 18-year-old care leavers go on to complete a degree, compared to 40% across the UK population as a whole.
Mark Boleat, chairman of the policy and resources committee at the City of London Corporation, says: “Without traditional family guidance, care-leavers struggle to move into higher education but this new City Opportunities scheme helps them overcome the challenges they face.”
Mark Ellis, senior manager for schools and colleges liaison at LSBU, says: “The uniqueness of this project is that it introduces people from one of the most marginalised groups in our society into the corridors of power and privilege.
“We challenge the participants to believe that they can aspire to work in a City firm, despite their circumstances. Several participants told us at the end of the project that they would not have thought of going to university before, but that now they felt inspired about the future.”