Call to boost summer internship places in the Wharf
At a time when new resolutions are still fresh in the minds of many, a Canary Wharf-based organisation is calling for more commitment from its neighbours.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of Career Academies UK which coordinates business mentoring, visits, lectures and summer internships to UK students.
During the past decade more than 1,000 employers - including Canary Wharf's Citi Group, Morgan Stanley and Canary Wharf Group - have forged links with students.
David Walker, director of programme and public policy at Career Academies, told The Wharf that, although 70 per cent of students would find an internship through the scheme in the run-up to their second year at college, he wanted to see the statistic hit 100 per cent.
He said February was "prime internship search time" for the organisation based in Canada Square and a perfect time for big businesses to open their doors to teenagers this summer.
He said: "It's not a hard ask to get someone in business to visit a group of students and it's not that hard to get a mentor. But getting spaces for an internship can be difficult and a lot of companies ask what the benefits are.
"Employing a young person for 35 hours per week for six weeks will cost about £1,500.
"Citi Bank Group took more than 20 interns last summer. They recognised the sort of jobs young people could do.
"It's not work experience, it's a real job, a real job with real responsibility. You're not just taking on interns because it's a nice thing to do, you are doing it because it is of benefit to you as a business.
"The primary benefit is for the young person but it might impact your business, how you recruit, and why you recruit."
David said for the youngsters, who may be deciding between a future at university or a work-based graduate scheme, insight was crucial in raising aspirations and increasing social mobility.
And partnerships with local organisations including Newham College, Sir John Cass's and Thomas Tallis School have ensured its commitment to its raison d'etre - to bring those from east London into the Wharf for career roles.
Go to careeracademies.org.uk.