Investing in future generations to become 'career ready'
We’re on a mission to make the world safer, healthier and more efficient, and we believe that investing in our young people and local communities is one of the best ways to do this. In 2019 alone, we interacted with more than 15,000 young people in key locations across the UK, inspiring them through skills sessions, workshops, careers fairs, work experience, workplace visits, mentoring, internships, fundraising, and sponsorships. Together, our employees have raised awareness and thousands of pounds for charities, including Action for Children and Career Ready, making a positive difference to the lives of young people in need.
Career Ready is now one of the most impactful programmes and exciting charities we support. Across the UK, Career Ready links employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to underprivileged young people. Our support includes one-to-one mentoring, paid summer internships, workshops, masterclasses and award sponsorship, all of which help the students build their confidence, develop technical and personal skills, overcome barriers and kick-start their future careers. And we know the programme is working, with 83 percent of all Career Ready students agreeing the programme raised their aspirations, and 98 percent of students on a Career Ready programme progressing to a positive destination (e.g. work, further study).
Our mentors and supervisors love supporting Career Ready; they can see their coaching and support is making a real difference to the lives of young people. To date, we’ve directly supported more than 70 Career Ready students, including Erwin Grodowski from Shawlands Academy in Scotland. This year alone, Erwin graduated from the programme, won the Career Ready AstraZeneca STEM Student of the Year Award for Technology, and joined Leidos UK as a Graduate Apprentice.
Erwin’s mentor Gavin Young, a Senior Project Manager, tells us: "It was a pleasure to mentor Erwin through the Career Ready programme, to contribute to his personal development and introduce him to the world of work. When I first met him in October 2017, Erwin was rather shy, quietly spoken and hesitant to participate in group activities. However, over a period of eight months, we met regularly in the Leidos office in Glasgow and I introduced him to a number of my much younger colleagues; he quickly earned their respect due to his enthusiasm and knowledge of software development.
"Erwin was a willing and enthusiastic participant in the four-week internship and gave an excellent presentation to a large group at the end of the four weeks. I was proud to see how self-assured and confident he had become and I am delighted both that he won a national award and that he has now joined us as a colleague at Leidos!"
Another exemplary Career Ready student is Angel Maynard, from Connell Sixth Form College in Manchester, who completed her Career Ready experience in the construction industry. Angel faced true hardship during the programme but found the strength and dedication to persevere, going on to win the Leidos Career Ready National Student of the Year Award and subsequently joining Leidos as a Modern Apprentice.
Angel said: "Career Ready really does prepare young people for the world of work; it has shown me that there is more to the construction industry than what meets the eye. It has taught me to always put my best foot forward and give everything a go. The programme and people I have met have influenced me to be more positive. I feel ready for anything and I believe that life will always throw lemons at you, but you just have to juice them and make some delicious lemonade to get you through the day."
Through the Career Ready programme, we’re empowering our employees to leverage our corporate resources to do good. It’s a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved and we’re excited to grow our support and investments into 2020 and beyond!