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Clifford Chance throws open its doors to help boost networking and employability skills of students

29 November 2011

Clifford Chance throws open its doors to help boost networking and employability skills of students

Leading international law firm, Clifford Chance is hosting a group of students aged 16 to19 from two schools in Guildford and Poole today, to give them a taste of working life, and to help boost their employability skills. 

The eye-opening visit is part of a day-long event, ‘A Capital Experience’, organised by aspiration-raising business-education charity Career Academies UK. The day will involve over 100 leading UK employers, and around 1300 young people will attend.

In the morning, Clifford Chance will provide 24 business and finance students with a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how the organisation works, including a workplace tour.

Clifford Chance has been involved with the Career Academy programme since it began in the UK around 6 years ago and provides one-to-one mentoring to young people on the programme and in-kind help to the charity as a whole. Career Academy courses are designed to get young people 'business-ready' although many students now go on to university after their qualifications. 

Cathy Jones, Head of Community Outreach at Clifford Chance, said: “In the current economic climate, when it is more competitive than ever for young people to secure jobs and youth unemployment is on the increase, it is vital that employers work closely with schools and colleges to develop a skilled and diverse future workforce. We hope ‘A Capital Experience’ will help these students realise that there are many career paths open to them, show them what the world of work involves and encourage them to consider a range of options when it comes to future employment.”

After the visit to Clifford Chance all the groups will make their way to the Royal Festival Hall, where they will get the chance to network with other young people from across the country taking part in the programme and participate in business-related activities to boost their employability skills.

During the afternoon, they will also receive valuable advice from speakers including Channel 4’s Fairy Jobmother Hayley Taylor, Paul Wilson Senior Adviser at Bain & Company and speaker and author Lee Jackson.  The afternoon will be led by Master of Ceremonies David McQueen, motivational speaker and founder of Magnificent Minds.

James McCreary, Chief Executive of Career Academies UK, said: “With the need for excellent workplace skills high on the Government agenda at the moment, this kind of event is more relevant than ever. The day will be a fantastic introduction to the Career Academy programme, designed to offer unique work-related learning experiences and inspire students to aim high. We hope that by visiting some of the UK’s largest employers, the students will realise that anything is possible.”

‘A Capital Experience’ is the biggest national one-day event in the Career Academy calendar and kicks off the two-year programme for young people taking part.

Set up by the business community in 2002, Career Academies UK is a registered charity which leads and supports a movement of employers, schools and colleges, working together to raise the aspirations of 16 to 19-year-olds. At the end of the programme, almost 85% of Career Academy graduates go on to higher education, or an equivalent level of work related training.

Employee volunteers from around the UK contribute time and skills to a Career Academy – as guest speakers in the classroom, one-to-one mentors, or by hosting workplace visits or paid summer internships.

Independently recognised for brilliant business and education brokerage, it is the first national organisation to receive the Award for Education Business Excellence.