Career Ready: Could you change a young person’s life?

By Anne Wexelstein - Career Ready, Director for Scotland

I am excited.  Thanks to an introduction from John Stewart, SSE HRD, I am in the position to be writing this blog to CIPD members and as a CIPD member myself.  Truth be told, it’s an urgent ask to the business community to mentor and provide an internship to talented school students in Scotland who may face barriers in education and employment due to their socio-economic-cultural background.

Career Ready is a social mobility charity, who wants every young person, regardless of background, to progress to a positive post-school destination and prosper in work and life. 

It’s hard to believe how far Career Ready has come in just a few years. In partnership with many dedicated employers, we have helped expand the horizons of amazing young people. These fabulous students, from 144 secondary schools across 18 Local Authority areas in Scotland are matched with a business mentor in S5 and S6, join employer led skills masterclasses, and importantly, have a four-week paid summer internship with their mentor’s organisation. 

The mentor and internship combination are a magical part of the Career Ready programme. Young people are exposed to a wide range of workplaces, people and career journeys. Over the four weeks of their internship their confidence comes on in leaps and bounds, and often they are unrecognisable by the end of the programme. Confident, clearer on the direction they want to take in life, and often stretching further than they ever thought possible.

The experience is also life changing for many of our mentors, learning how to encourage and coach a young person and guide them through the unknown that is the workplace.

If you want to see and hear about the impact you could make, here’s just two videos from Career Ready alumni empowered by Morgan Stanley.

  • Ryan’s story: WATCH
  • Ibinabo’ story: WATCH 

It’s been a tumultuous year for young people.  Now more than ever they need to build connections to prepare for the world of work.

You may already support us!  Thank you.  If not, could now be the time, however big or small your organisation? To explore joining up by the end of September, please contact me and I or one of my small, incredible team will be happy to talk you through the finer details.

I’ll close with a quote from Sandy Begbie CBE, CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise and Chair of Career Ready:

‘Young people will be the driver of our Covid recovery, so we must have a response which puts them at its heart. I’ve seen many talented young people just crying out for an opportunity to realise their talent and fulfil their promise within a meaningful career, and Career Ready makes this happen.’ 

You can visit the Career Ready Scotland website for more information about the programme.

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