Tackling youth unemployment in London with social mobility charity, The Brokerage Citylink and The City of London Corporation

Londoners have some of the best job opportunities on their doorstep, and have a lot to offer businesses. Yet, for many young Londoners, these advantages don’t translate into successful employment. Supporting young people into work is in the city’s best interest and is something that, as a company, we firmly believe in.

To highlight the key employment issues within the city and the great work that is already being done to tackle these, The City of London Corporation recently published a report; The City’s Business: helping young Londoners towards and into employment – a guide.

"It was great to be able to share my experience with such an enthusiastic group. I think they learnt a lot about team work and the workplace."

The report includes a case study of Barnett Waddingham’s partnership with London based social mobility charity, The Brokerage Citylink, which has developed over the past twelve months. Under the headline ‘Small and local is beautiful’, the City of London’s report highlights our work with the Brokerage to host schools workshops in our London office. 

Our partnership with the Brokerage Citylink

In order to raise awareness of the youth employment issues within the city, we decided to develop a more diverse approach to our recruitment, which supports our CSR aims and promotes the wide-ranging career opportunities in the professional services arena. In early 2015, the Brokerage approached us and a new partnership was formed.

The partnership began with us hosting a series of engaging workshops for students, delivered by The Brokerage Citylink in our London office. This gave us the opportunity to talk students and understand their aspirations and concerns.  We took the students on a tour around the office, which allowed us to show them the reality of working in the city - demonstrating that good careers in the city are attainable. Numerous staff volunteered to participate, meeting and talking to the students during the half-day sessions. 

Bridget Gardiner, executive director at the Brokerage

“We see a wealth of young, bright and enthusiastic students who just don’t get opportunities to see the inside of businesses with smart offices, or meet people who work there and find out what they do. At the same time, corporate executives get to see future talent in action, more representative of London’s diverse population. We see all our programmes as delivering a win/win, where everyone gains from the experience.”

Moving forward

In November 2015, the partnership developed to include participation in the Brokerage’s Schools Business Challenge at which 45 sixth form students from 13 London state schools gained valuable experience in analysing a business proposal and presenting their findings.

A Barnett Waddingham representative joined other city employers on the judging panel and offered one of the winning students an invaluable work experience placement, to improve their employability skills and increase their confidence and add a critical boost to their CVs and UCAS forms.

The relationship goes from strength to strength, with exciting plans to widen Barnett Waddingham’s participation through bespoke CV writing workshops, mock assessment centres and practice interviews, targeting schools in disadvantaged outer London boroughs which receive little by way of corporate support.

This year, we will also be hosting a series of tailored Masterclasses, aimed at local sixth formers who will attend dedicated workshops, focusing on different practice areas within the business.