London Ambitions case studies

Businesses across London are providing skills and education opportunities to young people wishing to kick on in their careers.

Read real world examples of programmes being made available by global organisations below, and see how one school is playing its part in preparing pupils for the world of work.

Sky Academy

Building skills and nurturing talent is essential for Sky’s future. It’s also vital for society as a whole. As a major UK business, we want to give young people the help and opportunities they need to succeed in a changing world.

That’s why we launched Sky Academy, which aims to help one million young people gain skills, experience and self-belief by 2020. It uses the power of television, creativity and sport to inspire young people and help them reach their potential.

One example of how we’re doing this is Sky Academy Careers Lab. Launching this autumn, it will give thousands of 16-19 year olds a one day experience of work at our bespoke HQ in west London. The aim is to encourage them to develop practical employability skills and explore different career options. This builds on our commitment to help young people kick off their careers by doubling the number of work experience, apprenticeship and graduate opportunities available at Sky.

We’re also working with schools through other Sky Academy experiences, like Skills Studios. This has seen over 20,000 young people, aged 8-18, come to Sky to make a news report on a subject they’re studying at school. Teachers tell us that the experience helps students to develop skills like teamwork, communication and creativity.

Visit the Sky Academy website to find out more.


At Deloitte we understand how important it is to help young people get jobs and are one of the UK’s biggest employers of young people. We’ve just launched a new skills and education programme in conjunction with Teach First to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into the world of work.

We’re working with 11 Teach First schools across England to give young people the skills to land a job and develop their careers at companies like Deloitte. So far, over 600 Deloitte volunteers have supported over 2,500 young people to build skills in leadership, enterprise and employability.

Our mentors also support Teach-First’s award-winning ‘Futures’ programme. Futures pairs talented A-level students from poorer backgrounds with a mentor, giving them the chance to visit universities, including a residential Easter school at Cambridge.

We strongly support getting people from different backgrounds into the accountancy profession. This is why our company has signed up to a new initiative called Access to Accountancy. It sets targets for accountancy firms to recruit a wider range of young people into the profession.

Find out how Deloitte is helping young people at London school St Mary Magdalene Academy.

The Digital Schoolhouse Project

Digital Schoolhouse is a great example of how London schools and employers are leading computer science education. It gives primary teachers the chance to work with secondary teachers through pupil workshops and develop more skills and confidence to teach the new computer science curriculum. This includes algorithms and programming through dance and magic, the science of cryptography, making music and making computer games.

Ten London secondary schools are now working with the UK Interactive Entertainment Association (UKIE) and companies like CodeKingdoms, Draw and, Nintendo, Tech Will Save Us, 3Doodler, PlayStation and the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The project is funded by London Schools Excellence Fund and through the secondary hub schools will work with 350 other primary schools, reaching over 18,000 pupils.

Visit the Digital Schoolhouse project website to find out more.

EY Foundation

The EY Foundation – an independent charity founded by EY in 2014 – helps young people who face barriers in the labour market to find pathways into work, higher education or self-employment. We want to make a measurable, positive impact on young people from disadvantaged groups in the UK. Together with employers, social enterprises, local communities across the UK and our network of corporate partners, we have helped to benefit hundreds of young peoples’ working lives by providing skills training, paid work experience and mentoring.

Together the aim is to deliver programmes like Smart Futures that provide young people disadvantaged in the labour market with paid experiences of work; helping them to make a successful transition into their first job, higher education or self-employment.

Smart Futures is a great paid experience of work that can improve a young person’s chances of getting a job after school or going onto higher education.

The ten month programme, for Year 12 students in England and 5th Year students in Scotland, starts with paid work experience during Easter* and summer. The programme includes opportunities to learn more about professional services and work with other industries, which might include healthcare, the arts, or financial services. And every young person on the programme is allocated a mentor.

In 2017 Smart Futures is running in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Bristol, Reading, the North West (Manchester and Liverpool), Yorkshire (Leeds and Hull), Luton, Newcastle and Southampton. Do you meet the criteria? Then we want you to apply today!

In 2016, 100% of our 223 students rated the programme as Good to Excellent, with 96% saying that programme significantly improved their networking and communication skills. If you would like to learn more about the Smart Futures programme, or are an employer that would like to be involved in the programme, please contact us. You can also find out more by visiting the EY Foundation website.

Kingsford Community School

‘Aspire, Succeed, Be Excellent’ is our school motto. We believe it’s never too early to expose our students to the careers open to them, and our careers guidance programme starts in year 7.

So for example, our PE students take part in a rowing competition which includes going to a careers fair. Our science and technology students do activities to help them find out about the many careers in those fields and how to access them. We also give our students chances to learn directly from employers – from one day placements to two week blocks, which include work experience opportunities in China, France, Spain and Ghana.

We strive to do the best for our students, but can’t do this without dedicated teachers, effective careers guidance arrangements and the backing and support of London’s employers.

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