Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Square Mile Firms Told to Smash 'Glass Walls' Blocking State Pupils

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Square Mile Firms Told to Smash 'Glass Walls' Blocking State Pupils

Article excerpt

Byline: Anna Davis Education Correspondent

BUSINESSES in the Square Mile need to break down the "glass walls" that prevent school leavers from deprived backgrounds securing jobs with them, experts said today.

Top firms are being urged to give summer jobs to state school pupils from the seven boroughs neighbouring the City.

The City of London Business Traineeship scheme -- which gives young people the chance to work in banks, law firms, insurance companies, finance houses and recruitment agencies for a summer placement -- needs more businesses to sign up.

The scheme is said to give companies new ideas and perspectives from people who would not normally apply for such jobs.

Last year 100 A-level students from Camden, Islington, Westminster, Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark and Lambeth took part in paid placements at organisations including law firms Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance, the Bank of England and Lloyd's insurance market.

The City of London Corporation, which organises the scheme, today urged more firms to get involved this year. Stuart Fraser, chairman of the corporation's policy and resources committee, said: "With youth unemployment high, we call on even more Square Mile firms to support the City's Business Traineeship scheme, to reach out to marginalised groups and open up opportunities.

"City firms that participate get help recruiting from an untapped pool of talent right on our doorstep. We don't just get talent -- we get new ideas and perspectives." He added: "The scheme offers young people living in some of the UK's most deprived boroughs the opportunity to engage and work in the Square Mile on their doorstep.

"It helps raise aspirations and break down the glass walls stopping them entering professional careers -- many of which are founded on false assumptions or lack of early careers advice. …

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