Mayor’s Fund for London

Encouraging big ambitions

Picture your first ever day of work experience, striding confidently towards the Neoclassical façade of London’s V & A Museum in a freshly ironed outfit.

This is the type of experience Access Aspiration prides itself on offering to 16-18 year old students in London from low-income backgrounds. The programme, set up by Mayor’s Fund for London, aims to make the transition to the world of work, university or apprentice less daunting. They do this by organising live webinars, pre-recording life stories from relatable role models, delivering CV and interview skill workshops, and setting up work experience placements at inspirational organisations from a range of sectors which participants wouldn’t typically be able to access. These include the Bank of England, Condé Nast, The Met Police, Usborne Publishing and the V&A.

  • Young people who recall five or more employer encounters at school were four times less likely to be unemployed later in life, according to an international study by the Gatsby Foundation.
  • 95% Access Aspiration students report increase knowledge of career options.
  • In 2020/21, Access Aspiration provided young people with over 1,924 impactful employer encounters, including 171 work experience placements and 560 mock interviews.

Starting out on the right foot

 Access Aspiration also partners with other charities to help kit out students with work appropriate clothing and creates ‘How To’ guides for companies to understand how to accommodate and work with the young people.

In 2020, Access Aspiration has worked with 43 schools across 22 London boroughs. Our grant of £50,000 has helped expand this inspirational project to 14 new schools.

“It was an amazing experience which gave me an insight into a career in research that I haven’t deeply thought about. It was very helpful to work in a lab and work with the researchers and see their passion for medical sciences as well as they drive to make a change by doing that they love. I am now seriously considering a career as a medical researcher.” 

Access Aspiration participant

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