Access Aspiration

Creating more visibility of careers and pathways into employment for 16-18 year olds through aspirational employer encounters and experiences.

In 2020/21, we provided over 2,880 young people with 2,850 impactful employer encounters, including 550 industry speaker and employability workshops, 357 business insights, 125 work experience placements.

Young Londoners from low income backgrounds, particularly those from Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic communities, face an extremely competitive labour market when they leave education. This is compounded when other barriers come into play. We know that 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 representation. Our research found that more than a quarter of young people from low income backgrounds believe that ‘people like me’ do not succeed in life.

Access Aspiration 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.

We are hugely grateful to our existing partners and call on even more businesses to engage with our cause by volunteering their time and financial support to ensure that we continue running Access Aspiration and support schools so that even more students can benefit.

We invite professionals from all walks of life to share their career journeys with us. If your organisation would like to get involved, please do get in touch.
“I really love what your organisation is doing for the younger generation. Our industry needs more diversity in so many ways. It is inspiring to see how engaged these young people are!”

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

“Access Aspiration has given us something 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. The programme has a massive impact on our students lives.”

– Teacher, Chelsea Academy, Kensington and Chelsea

Jenny Halpern Prince, CEO of Halpern, set up Access Aspiration in 2012 to increase social mobility in London due to the diversity bias in companies. The Mayor’s Fund for London merged Access Aspiration into its organisation in 2017. Jenny remains involved in Access Aspiration through her role as a Trustee. Halpern also continues to support the programme and organisation as a whole in many ways, including through fundraising and PR support.