Access Aspiration

Creating more visibility of employment pathways for 16-18 year olds by providing aspirational work placements and employer insights. The 2018/19 academic year has been the most impactful year of delivery so far with over 4,300 encounters being delivered, made up of over 260 work experience placements, 570 business insights and 3,500 encounters in schools.

So far, the programme has supported more than 6,600 students and delivered over 17,500 employer encounters.

We’ve brought together professionals from a wide variety of industries in a series of short films for young people, called Sector Snapshots, to share insights into their chosen fields and how they landed in their current roles.

For many young Londoners from low income backgrounds, the opportunity to make informed decisions about career paths and opportunities are denied through lack of access. Increasing social integration, community cohesion, inclusivity and diversity is a priority for the wellbeing of London and all of us who live and work in the capital.

Young Londoners face an extremely competitive labour market when they leave education. This is compounded when other barriers come into play. Only 17% of London’s professional jobs are occupied by people from lower income backgrounds compared to 30% nationally (One City, Two Worlds, 2020).

The problem is not only one of access, but also of aspiration. Our recent research found that more than a quarter of young people from low income backgrounds believe that ‘people like me’ do not succeed in life.

Our Access Aspiration programme is designed to tackle these issues by providing careers support and guidance for young Londoners who are making key decisions about their future, but struggling to make links with employers.

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In partnership with London’s business community, we aim to create more visibility of employment pathways by working with a range of schools and colleges to provide aspirational work placements and employer insights and help link employers to top young talent in communities they are struggling to reach.

We have worked with a network of over 100 prestigious London employers, such as the Bank of England, EE, Network Rail, the Metropolitan Police, NHS Imperial College Hospitals, BBC and Twitter, to provide a unique menu of opportunities to young Londoners at a critical point in their education. Over the last few years, these organisations have provided structured work experience and industry insight days for thousands of students and helped them make more sense of the London labour market.

We also work with London schools to offer interview preparation and speed networking sessions for their students.

For more details on working together, please get in touch.

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“It gave me that extra push and drive that I needed and because of it, I am determined to pursue a career in the NHS”

– Hodan, undertook a work placement at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

“I really love what your organisation is doing for the younger generation. Our industry needs more diversity in so many ways. The change will come with the next generation. It is also inspiring to see how engaged these young people are!”

– Tyler E. Goodwin, Founder & CEO of Seaforth Land

“Access Aspiration has given us something that we absolutely didn’t have before which is access to very high-quality work experience placements for students that really deserve them but couldn’t access them. It takes a huge amount of workload away from the school which is very useful. The programme has a massive impact on our students lives.”

– Deputy Head of Sixth Form, Chelsea Academy

Our partners

A huge thank you to our funders for supporting Access Aspiration. We could not run the programme without you.