Businesses and young people recognised in skills and social mobility ‘Oscars’

City Business Traineeships awards

Young people and businesses across London were recognised at the City Business Traineeships awards.

The City Business Traineeship programme, funded by the City Corporation and delivered by The Brokerage, places state school pupils who study in from the City’s neighbouring boroughs London’s inner boroughs into paid internships at top City firms, giving young people the skills needed for a successful career in the Square Mile. Since the programme launched in 1994, over 1,500 young people have benefited from paid internships with more than 100 of the City’s top employers providing placements.

Theawards, which took place on Thursday evening, celebrate the achievements of the young people and employers who take part in the scheme, forming part of the City of London Corporation’s commitment to developing young people’s skills and driving forward social mobility in the Square Mile.

Top City businesses including Marsh and DWF attended the event, which was hosted by global banking group Societe Generale at its UK headquarters. Andrew Parmley, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, presented the awards.

The young people were awarded for their hard work, attendance, time keeping, motivation and work ethic. Employers were recognised for delivering high-quality placements. 

Lord Mayor Andrew Parmley said: “London’s businesses should be more vocal about the work they are doing in developing young people’s skills - and these awards are an excellent opportunity to promote their vital work.

“Responsible businesses know that by supporting internships they are also making a priceless investment into their own firms. Together we can do more to support young people into meaningful jobs – creating a more diverse and sustainable workforce and making sure that we get the maximum benefit from the talent of young Londoners.”

Bridget Gardiner, Executive Director of The Brokerage said: “It is such a delight to see the transformation of London students from when they register with us in the spring, take part in learning opportunities and insight events over the following months and, for the most successful, undertake meaningful paid work over the summer. 

“For many, the City Business Traineeship programme is a stepping stone to a career in business. Our most recent research of past candidates on the programme shows over 50 per cent are now working in financial, professional and related services, with many others using the skills acquired to help shape their career choices.”

Ben Higgins, Head of HR at Societe Generale said: “Societe Generale is committed to attracting and developing young talent and engaging with our local communities. We are proud to have been partners of the City of London Business Traineeship programme since 2006, helping young individuals to seek employment directly within our organisation or furthering their education and career prospects elsewhere.”

The award winners were:

Employer Newcomer of the Year: Headland Consultancy

Headland Consultancy delivered quality internships in the programme. Trainees gained an insight into the business, providing the opportunity to work for clients across a range of sectors, including energy and food retail.

Employer of the Year: Beazley

Beazley provided a well-structured internship programme, giving support and opportunities for interns to gain new skills. Interns were well supported and integrated into the teams they worked in, as well as having opportunities to take part in training.

Project Champion: Sophie Coventry, Financial Crime Manager, Marsh

Sophie manages and mentors trainees in the scheme for Marsh. Sophie encouraged interns to explore the firm by organising meetings with senior colleagues to give them an insight into different areas of the business. Sophie entrusted the interns with important tasks, allowing them to feel that they were making a real contribution. As a mentor, Sophie supported her interns to overcome a fear of public speaking and took time out to help them build confidence in the run up to a presentation.

Trainee of the Year: Henry Hoang, Actuary, HFG

Henry, 18 from Tower Hamlets, won this award for his diligence, efficiency and commercial awareness. He made himself invaluable to the business by being punctual, excelling in all tasks and showing a real interest in the work of the firm. As part of his role, Henry was involved in headhunting and identified a candidate who went on to be placed for an impressive recruitment fee, all in what would have been a quick turnaround for an experienced recruiter.

Highly commended Trainee of the Year: Mohammed Niyaz Uddin, Global Technology Infrastructure, Marsh

Mohammed, 19 from Tower Hamlets was nominated by his manager for being an integral part of the team. He has very quickly grasped technical processes as well as identifying possible areas of improvement, creating a build process analysis report and presenting it to management – something that’s being reviewed and considered for implementation. Mohammed had displayed great customer service skills, and has been able to work independently with little supervision.

The City of London Corporation runs a range of other initiatives designed to boost skills and social mobility in London. It boosts young people’s employability through its partnership with City firms to tackle youth unemployment through apprenticeships, mentoring and paid work placements schemes. The City Corporation itself has pledged to employ 100 apprentices by the end of 2017/18.

It is also the sponsor of the world’s first Social Mobility Employer Index, a joint initiative between the Social Mobility Foundation and the Social Mobility Commission, which ranks the top 50 UK employers who have taken the most action to improve social mobility in the workplace. And the City Corporation’s ‘The City’s Business’ guide shows business the vital role that City firms can play in reducing youth unemployment in London.

The City Corporation, which is already ranked as the top multi-academy sponsor in the country for pupil progress by the Department for Education, sponsors or co-sponsors two primary and three secondary academies across Hackney, Islington and Southwark. All are judged as ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.

It delivers affordable housing across seven London boroughs - and it is building another 3,700 homes across London by 2025. And its charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20m a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital. The Trust has awarded around 7,600 grants totalling over £350m since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.

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