London-based SME? Young talent is waiting to join your business

London’s Square Mile is home to some of the biggest and best businesses in the world with young, aspiring City workers competing for the most exciting internship and apprenticeship opportunities in the country.

Whilst many large companies already have the resources to put these initiatives in place, SMEs can often get left behind as they struggle to compete with the shiny, structured offerings of their rivals. With the new apprenticeship levy now in place, finding ways to source brilliant young talent has never been more crucial.

SMEs employ around 50% of the City’s workforce, with undergraduates and school leavers eager to be part of a successful growing company.

With the ever-increasing number of young people looking to get on the career ladder, just how do companies attract the best talent?

For larger companies, with big HR departments, the capacity to visit careers fairs and conduct rigorous recruitment processes, it might not be that difficult. But what about the smaller companies without the means to do this?

For nearly two decades, over 100 firms across the City have been tapping into London’s best kept secret – a ready-made talent pool of local, educated, young people with a passion for City life. How? Through social mobility charity, The Brokerage Citylink and the City Business Traineeship (CBT) Programme, funded by the City of London Corporation.

The Brokerage helps companies, big and small, attract the best and brightest talent with the aim of diversifying the workplace to reflect the surrounding local communities. They work with students across the capital, helping to raise aspirations and create access to professional and financial services, supporting companies with their recruitment of young people from A-level leavers to graduates.

The CBT programme provides 6-13 week paid internships for students who have just finished sixth form. As well as providing excellent experiences for the young people, companies use the programme to build a pipeline for other initiatives, provide cover for staff over the summer months and train managers in developing younger staff.

“Developing talent is a priority for William Blair. The young professionals we work with through the programme with The Brokerage continue to make us proud and foster our culture of learning and development”, says Matt Gooch, head of European investment banking.

William Blair, were awarded Employer of the Year for the 2016 CBT Programme after taking on four trainees across various departments.

According to research, businesses continue to offer poor career routes to 40% of young people who do not decide to take the graduate route. The award-winning scheme1 is an easy way for companies to provide alternative career paths to young people seeking work in one of the best cities in the world.

Aside from the trainee wage and any training provided, the programme is free for participating employers. What’s stopping you?

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