Young people from John Ruskin College, South Croydon will take their first steps onto the career ladder this summer as they don business suits and forgo their holidays to undertake four – ten week internships.
Alico, Citibank, JP Morgan, Lakehouse and Lloyds are amongst the local and regional businesses giving students on the John Ruskin College Career Academy programme the opportunity to experience the world of work and put the skills and knowledge they have learnt at school or college into practice.
Tolu Ola-Odudu is spending his internship with Bloomberg. He says: “I’m really looking forward to my internship. It will be a great opportunity to see what working life is really like and I hope the placement will help me get ahead in my future career.” Tolu is completing a ten week internship with Bloomberg within their Sales Analysis teams.
John Ruskin College has run the pioneering two-year course, equivalent to three A-levels, for two years. The programme of study is complemented by one-to-one mentoring with employee volunteers and regular workshops hosted by business partners. Career Academies demonstrably improve students’ achievement and attainment. Almost 90% of graduates progress on to higher education or into a job with an equivalent level of training, compared with the 40% predicted to do so at the start of the course. The students get to develop a range of other skills and attributes including communication and confidence. They learn how to spot opportunities, overcome challenges and implement ideas.
And the programme does not just benefit the students. James McCreary, Chief Executive of Career Academies UK, explains: “Engaging with young people through the Career Academy programme brings many benefits to the businesses and employee volunteers involved. Often employers are pleasantly surprised by the quality of what the interns have to offer, including a fresh approach and creative ideas. “At the same time, supervising interns presents a great opportunity to develop the leadership and management skills of young staff. Just ask companies like BP, Lloyds Banking Group or Yorkshire Bank and they will be glad to tell you the value that these young people can add to a business.”
Alexandra Bacon, Career Academy Co-ordinator at John Ruskin College says “We want to thank our business partners for their generous cooperation; Mott MacDonald, APXpress, Cazenove, Lakehouse, MET Police to name but a few, particularly in such a tough economic climate. It is through their support that our students have the opportunity to get a real and meaningful experience of a professional work environment. We hope that the internships will have an aspirational effect on our students, giving them a sense of the range of careers out there and the confidence to pursue their interests and passions.
“In the past, students have commented on how internships have changed their future outlook and several have been invited back by their host company the following year. We have high hopes that this year’s round of internships will be just as successful.”
For further information please contact Sally Obertell, Marketing Manager, John Ruskin College.
0208 651 1131.
Notes to editors:
Career Academies UK was founded in 2002 and is a registered charity. It supports a movement of over 800 employers and 120 schools & colleges, working together to raise the aspirations of 16 to 19-year-olds. Judging by GCSE grades prior to starting the programme, 40% of Career Academy students were likely to progress to university or a job with training. Almost 90% actually do so, over 70% to university, often the first in their family.