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Career Academies UK

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Barclays graduates support Career Academies UK

Thursday 28 August

Career Academies UK benefited from the innovation of 40 graduates on Barclays Graduate Programme as part of their Citizenship Challenge.  

As part of a broader Citizenship strategy, Barclays’ Community Investment commitment to 5 Million Young Futures focuses on helping the next generation achieve their ambitions through programmes focused on enterprise, employability and financial skills.

Barclays’ 400 graduates (including a former Career Academy student) were split into groups of ten and assigned to one of Barclays’ partner charities as part of the Initial Training Programme of the graduate scheme.

Four groups were assigned to Career Academies UK and were tasked with two different projects.  Two groups were asked to help develop a theme, content and structure for eight masterclasses to be delivered to Career Academy students next year.  The other two groups were asked to identify ways in which to improve the volunteer journey with Career Academies UK. 

The graduates were briefed and given three weeks to develop a strategy to address the tasks, during which time they were in contact with Career Academies UK staff with any queries.  At the end of the three weeks, each team presented for fifteen minutes to a panel including Career Academies UK staff and Barclays representatives. They were assessed as a team and will receive feedback from the Graduate Team at Barclays at a later date.

Kathleen Britain, Head of UK Community Investment at Barclays said, “We are delighted to partner with Career Academies UK as part of our overarching commitment to help 5 Million Young Futures.  The Graduate Challenge not only provided an opportunity for those on our graduate programme to develop, but it also has a real impact on Career Academies UK.”

Jenny Barber, Director of Programmes, and Shelley Williamson, National Relationship Manager with Career Academies UK were both blown away by the standard of the projects delivered by each team. 

Jenny Barber said: “Shelley and I were overwhelmed at not only the standard of work produced, which demonstrated a good grasp of the project aims, their understanding of us as an organisation and our priorities, but also the sheer level of commitment and dedication they gave the project alongside their already busy schedules.” 

Thanking Barclays, she went on to speak about the impact initiatives like this have: “For the last two weeks, your graduates more than doubled the size of our organisation – for a small charity such as ours this has an unbelievable impact.  They all demonstrated good decision making, an ability to work as a team but also autonomously, and importantly they reflected the Barclays values.”  

The graduates submitted their project work to staff at Career Academies UK who will review it further and use it to develop their programme as well as their volunteer journeys. 

To learn more about 5 Million Young Futures, visit Barclays.com/5MYF.

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