Canary Wharf investment bank JP Morgan has won the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Promoting Opportunity category.

The bank runs its Aspiring Professionals Programme, in partnership with the Social Mobility Foundation, aiming to improve the social mobility of students from low-income backgrounds giving them exposure to careers in professional services or finance.

Although Canary Wharf itself is one of the richest postcodes in the country, it is in Tower Hamlets, one of the most deprived and the programme gives secondary school pupils two-week work placements and mentoring with a JP Morgan employee for a full year to support them in their university applications.

More than 30 graduates from the scheme have gained places on JP Morgan’s internship programmes and two from the class of 2012 have secured full-time employment with the bank.

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon

Radhika Chandarana, who came through the programme to win a job, said: “From the day I walked through the door in 2012, JP Morgan and the Social Mobility Foundation has supported me every step of the way.

“Before the programme I had the perception that a career in banking and finance was impossible for students from my background. But the programme has opened doors to a dream career path and I’m so excited about my future.”

Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase said: “By providing experience, skills and industry insight to young people from low-income families, we help to break down the barriers that might prevent some of the brightest and most diverse people from realising their ambitions.

“We will continue to focus on attracting, retaining and motivating the highest quality workforce drawn from the broadest possible pool of talent.”

JP Morgan receives the accolade in the inaugural year of the Promoting Opportunity category in a set of awards in their 51st year and published to mark the Queen’s 91st birthday. There are 176 winners in categories such as innovation and international trade.

A judging panel which makes a recommendation to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee which then makes a final recommendation to the Queen.

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