Bosses back Mayor's drive to get young Londoners into jobs

22 October 2015

Hundreds of London's bosses and business leaders back Mayor's drive to get young Londoners into jobs

Designer Wayne Hemingway MBE, Paralympian rugby player Andy Barrow and TV presenter Michael Absalom and will be amongst some of the capital's business leaders and professionals giving 600 young people the benefit of their career experience, in the largest 'speed networking' event of its kind ever to take place in the UK.

The Mayor's Team London volunteering initiative, in partnership with Marylebone Cricket Club's Community Development team, is today bringing together over 600 tech experts, creative leaders and top entrepreneurs, with over 600 schoolchildren aged 13-15 from across the capital, for a unique mass 'speed networking' event at Lord's Cricket Ground.

Research by the CBI* has found the overwhelming majority of employers think careers advice in schools is not up to scratch and more needs to be done to ensure pupils are aware of the knowledge and skills they will need for the world of work. With 77 per cent of bosses and industry leaders feeling the quality of careers advice received is not good enough, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson is supporting efforts to prepare the capital's teenagers as they begin thinking about careers and employment after they leave school.

Twitter, British Airways, ASOS, Harrods, The British Library and Christie's Auction House are among the organisations that will be giving advice to the young Londoners at the gathering, with hundreds of the capital's professionals sharing their insight, know-how and top tips with young people in speed networking sessions lasting four minutes.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'It is absolutely vital that we give young Londoners the right knowledge and skills to compete in the global marketplace. What better way for schoolchildren to find out about the range of careers on offer in our great city than hearing from the professionals who can bring personal insight as well as expertise?'

Thursday's event also marks the launch of Team London's Enterprise Advisers initiative, which recruits business volunteers to support teachers to offer effective careers education to young Londoners. 

Senior professionals will be working on a one-to-one basis with teachers in schools across the capital over the next year, giving experienced-based careers advice, an understanding of the skills that are needed by employers and connecting them with London's business community to open up apprenticeship and job opportunities for students. 

The event builds on Team London's existing programmes ensuring more young Londoners are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the world of work. It has already supported 350 young Londoners directly into work and improved over 60,000 young Londoners' employability prospects. 

Claudia Harris, CEO at The Careers & Enterprise Company said: 'This is a fantastic event and shows how serious London's business and education communities are about bridging young people into the world of work. It is the perfect way to launch the Enterprise Adviser network which users relationships between business volunteers and school and college leadership teams to establish and strengthen this bridge.'

Thursday's event also highlights just one of the ways that people in work or with a limited amount of time can help others or benefit their community through speed volunteering, where they commit a small amount of time that suits their schedule. Team London will be launching its new smartphone app to showcase the range of speed volunteering opportunities available across the capital, from helping out with a charity's strategy during lunch, to providing literacy support after work.

The Mayor Boris Johnson added: 'I am delighted that so many people who are already working or heading up organisations are prepared to give their time to help the next generation of workers. It's a terrific example of the contribution that professionals can give through volunteering, even if they only have a small amount of time.'

Derek Brewer, MCClub Chief Executive & Secretary, at the MCC, which owns Lord's Cricket Ground, said: 'I'm pleased that such an important event will be hosted at Lord's and I'm looking forward to it. We're delighted to be working closely with Team London, which adds to our existing work with a number of local organisations to help provide opportunities for local young people seeking employment and careers advice – some of which will be in the sports industry. Hosting this event is another example of our commitment to engaging with our local community. I am grateful to the huge number of businesses and MCC staff who are giving up their time for this event, and I hope the young people who attend take a lot from it.'


Notes to editors

1.    Team London is the Mayor of London's ambitious programme to mobilise an army of volunteers across the capital. The aim is to improve life in London through programmes that will reduce crime, increase opportunities for youth and improve quality of life by cleaning and greening London and building stronger neighbourhoods. Team London promotes volunteering opportunities for over 1,500 charitable organisations, runs a number of programmes to support young people and has worked with over 100 London businesses in the last year torecognise the importance of volunteering for their staff and the next generation through the Mayor's Corporate Commitment. For information about volunteering opportunities in London, or to register your interest in the new Enterprise Adviser programmeplease go to http://[email protected]
2.    According to CBI/Pearson's Education and Skills Survey 2015 the overwhelming majority of employers think careers advice in schools is not up to scratch, more than three-quarters of businesses across the UK (77 per cent) feel the quality of careers advice received is not good enough to help young people make informed decisions about future career options. Only seven per cent of employers believe the advice is adequate – yet 60 per cent would like to be more involved in providing careers guidance in schools and colleges. 
3.    Commissioned through the London Enterprise Panel (LEP) and London Councils, the London Ambitions reports recommendations include access to personalised careers advice, at least 100 hours' experience of the world of work by the age of 16 and comprehensive, up-to-date information on the jobs market in the capital. It also recommends a 'London Ambitions Careers Curriculum' to help young people think about the learning experiences they have during schooling from a workplace perspective, and provide a toolkit for schools and colleges. The full report can be viewed at 
4.    MCC is the world's most active cricket club, the owner of Lord's Ground and the guardian of the Laws and Spirit of the game. There are 18,000 Full and 5,000 Associate Members of MCC. Since 2012, the Club has run its inaugural Community Engagement Programme, through which it has offered elite coaching in state schools, sporting memories workshops with local people living with dementia, and work experience and apprenticeship opportunities for young people. For more information go to 
5.    The Careers & Enterprise Company launched the national 'Enterprise Adviser' network programme which is being rolled out by Local Enterprise Partnerships across the country throughout this academic year. The initiative will match schools and colleges with enterprise advisers who will work one-to-one with school and college leaders to develop effective employer engagement programmes. The volunteers work as advisers to the school's senior management to develop a comprehensive strategy and plan for careers education which enables all students to engage in the many opportunities to build their understanding of and skills for the world of work. In London the programme is delivered by Team London and will work with 75 schools across the capital in the next year.
6.    Student from universities across London will volunteer their time as event stewards. This coincides with London Student Volunteering Fortnight which runs from Saturday 26 October until Saturday 9 November 2015.