With an aim to counteract the inequality gap in Cambridge felt by young people who are without connections and contacts, Cambridge Unlocked invites businesses to participate in offering sixth-form students a paid internship for one week this July.
Businesses and organisations from the dynamic Cambridge cluster are encouraged to join this important movement. Offering the next generation, a chance to gain valuable insight, and experience to break into their dream job.
In the tech industry, internships, and in-work experience function as a training ground for future professionals and learners to understand industries and jobs; develop valuable soft skills such as becoming a team player; understand how they can contribute to achieving team objectives and importantly start to build their professional networks.
Companies can work to foster an inclusive environment by removing barriers that young people face when applying from minorities, and disadvantaged backgrounds. Young people typically cannot accept unpaid internships without economic security, and therefore miss out on advancing opportunities. Limiting the intern pool in this way leaves behind less advantaged students, and Cambridge Unlocked aims to ensure all young people have access to opportunities.
Kath Austin, Chief Programme Officer at Form the Future comments “Students without a network of contacts working in these industries often feel lost and excluded from opportunities. Cambridge Unlocked unbolts the door to an experience which can shape their future career, raise their confidence, and provide access to near-peer mentors who can encourage them in their progress towards careers which would otherwise remain inaccessible. It’s ground-breaking for the students involved!”
The employers who joined Cambridge Unlocked in 2022 shared positive feedback, highlighting how much they enjoyed hosting enthusiastic young people who were eager to learn and to be involved in various aspects of the business. Some went to great lengths to help the students to access their offices.