Professional networks for state-educated young people

Professional networks for state-educated young people

Professional networks for state-educated young people

Introduction

State school students from disadvantaged backgrounds often lack professional networks that could help them to seek employment. Experts estimate that around 85% of white-collar jobs are secured through personal connections, with 90% of openings in the UK’s top professions going to those from affluent backgrounds. Those living outside major cities or in remote regions face further disadvantage, with fewer opportunities to network or gain work experience, and there is currently no scalable way for prospective employers to easily reach these students.

2021 Award

Emma Sullivan (CF 2018) is the co-founder and CEO of Prospela, an award-winning EdTech start-up giving students on-demand access to online mentors for career advice. During the pandemic, with support from one of our Covid-19 Action Fund grants, Emma developed a database of upskilling resources recommended by employers, to help disadvantaged students prepare for work.

Emma will use her Activate grant to expand the delivery of this free resource to state-educated young people in 13 specific regions around the UK, where the government has deemed there is inadequate careers education. Within each of these regions, she will use the funding to present her database of resources to school leaders and their students. She will also campaign for more local companies to contribute to the database, aiming to secure some official partnerships with local employers, to provide more content and advice. The funding will enable Emma to work on this project full time. Her ultimate aim is to help state-educated students, regardless of background or location, to access the latest career insights and upskilling resources from employers and employees for free.

Emma’s Fellowship to the USA and Canada in 2018 explored how tech can be used to encourage corporate volunteering.

2021 Award

Emma Sullivan (CF 2018) is the co-founder and CEO of Prospela, an award-winning EdTech start-up giving students on-demand access to online mentors for career advice. During the pandemic, with support from one of our Covid-19 Action Fund grants, Emma developed a database of upskilling resources recommended by employers, to help disadvantaged students prepare for work.

Emma will use her Activate grant to expand the delivery of this free resource to state-educated young people in 13 specific regions around the UK, where the government has deemed there is inadequate careers education. Within each of these regions, she will use the funding to present her database of resources to school leaders and their students. She will also campaign for more local companies to contribute to the database, aiming to secure some official partnerships with local employers, to provide more content and advice. The funding will enable Emma to work on this project full time. Her ultimate aim is to help state-educated students, regardless of background or location, to access the latest career insights and upskilling resources from employers and employees for free.

Emma’s Fellowship to the USA and Canada in 2018 explored how tech can be used to encourage corporate volunteering.