Students from City and Islington College (CANDI) boosted their future job prospects when they took part in a series of workshops with Lloyds Banking Group.
The group, all in their first year of A Level courses at the CANDI’s Sixth Form College in Angel, took part in the Lloyds Junior Scholars programme between October 2021 and March 2022.
Employees from the banking group, which includes Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, ran 10 interactive sessions to develop students’ employability and finance skills.
These focused on skills for success, networking, CV building, personal branding, interview and presentation skills, personal financial management and careers in the sector.
Each student was presented with a graduation certificate at Lloyds’ head office in the City and given the opportunity to gain work experience with the bank.
As part of the visit, they were also asked to give presentations on subjects of their choice, which included happiness, the Nike tech brand, diversity in the media and the school environment.
Yusuf Islam, 16, who is studying A Levels in Economics, Business Studies and History, said: “The workshops have really helped build my skills and confidence.
“I’ve learnt how to create a professional CV. They told us to use every experience we’ve learnt in our CVs and not to underestimate our skills and talent. They stressed the importance of making a good first impression and that preparation is key – researching the company, what questions they might ask and what skills you can bring to the job.
“They advised us to be friendly and ourselves when networking and not too professional or the person you’re working with may feel less motivated to speak with you, and when presenting, to take a breath, be calm and confident, bring out your personality and make it relatable.”
Yusuf is also taking advantage of many other enrichment programmes at CANDI including Career Ready, which works with employers and education providers to prepare young people for work.
He said: “I am looking at a finance career, something in investment or commercial banking. I have always loved how money and the economy works in and outside the UK. One of my favourite subjects at school was maths and I’ve also read books by John Maynard Keynes and Adam Smith. They’ve all motivated me to choose that career route.
“The Lloyd’s programme has given me a much more rounded perspective on working in the finance field and what you need to do to get there. To be a great worker you need great experience, and if you start at a young age, you already have a head-start on other people to give you the edge.”
The Lloyds Junior Scholars programme is one of a wide range of enrichment opportunities at CANDI to prepare students for their future careers.
Ben Orcese, Higher Education and Careers Advisor at CANDI, said: “The Lloyds Junior Scholars Programme is a motivational way to help students gain skills that will strengthen their applications to competitive universities, degree apprenticeships and employment.
“For many of them it was the first time they have had any experience of the corporate world, which will be hugely beneficial, whether they choose to go into banking or any other career.”