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This charity helps young people into incredible careers

Words by Abi Scaife

Let’s be honest - the most difficult part of being at school can often be considering your future career. 

For kids from minority backgrounds, this can be extra challenging. Even the most talented students struggle to access higher education or work, simply based on their background - and that’s where charities such as Career Ready UK come in.

Smiley News spoke to Eloise Skinner, author and Career Ready Youth Advisory Board member about some of the amazing things that Career Ready UK is doing to help young people from all backgrounds access a rewarding future.

“I've always been interested in social mobility: I came from a state school background, and felt a little out of place at university studying Law,” Eloise tells Smiley News. “I worked on the Access Team at Cambridge University to broaden access to students from a wide range of backgrounds and with a diversity of experience. After university, I worked with a few other charities focusing on similar issues, such as Young Women's Trust.”

“I came across Career Ready when I was writing my second book (called 'The Purpose Handbook') - I wanted to dedicate the proceeds of that book to a charity, and Career Ready - the UK's national social mobility charity - seemed like a great fit. Later, I joined their Youth Advisory Board, where I currently hold a position to input on strategy, alumni relations and much more!”

Eloise is many things - an author, existential therapist, teacher, model, and even the founder of two businesses, but still she finds time to work with Career Ready UK. This charity aims to challenge stereotypes, and to empower young people to help them create a rewarding life for themselves - something that is incredibly important.

“Social mobility (or inequality between different backgrounds) is still a huge problem for today's young people. Research from The Social Mobility Commission showed that those from affluent backgrounds are 80% more likely to be in a professional job than their working class peers,” explains Eloise. 

Career Ready is an amazing charity that has already reached 200,000 young people, including supporting 30,000 on their Post-16 programme. Plus, they are able to help young people through their incredible network of 1,000 employer supporters and 3,500 volunteers who help young people in 400 schools and colleges across the UK.

In Eloise’s position on the Youth Advisory board, she is able to help steer the work of Career Ready and highlight the voices of those young people that are benefited by the charity. One of the best things about Career Ready is that they really do put their youth and young people first - so that their voices are heard, and they get a say in how their lives are shaped by charity.

And they’ve already seen incredible change thanks to the tireless work of people like Eloise, who give up their time to help shape the future of the next generation of teachers, lawyers, doctors, dentists, actors, journalists - and whatever else they could dream of.

Data from Career Ready shows that 98% of students that were previously on a Career Ready programme go on to positive future destinations - while 98% of teachers said that the Career Ready interactions enhanced previous learning for students.

“One way to support change is through experiences and opportunities that open up the world of work to young people,” says Eloise. “Workplace experiences, insights into the world of work, mentors and other supporters, and upskilling opportunities. These are all elements offered within the Career Ready programmes.”

To support Career Ready UK, you can head to this Just Giving link to make a one-off or ongoing donation, or follow Career Ready on socials (@careerreadyuk) to learn more about their work!

To learn more about Eloise Skinner and the incredible work she is doing, head to her website for more information.

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

The Fawcett Society. This is the UK's leading charity campaigning for gender equality and women's rights. Support them here.

The Diversity Trust CIC. This Community Interest Company, established in 2012 in the UK, has a mission to ‘influence social change to create a fairer and safer society’. Learn more here.

Create. Create is the UK's leading charity empowering lives, reducing isolation and enhancing wellbeing through the creative arts. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Quality Education.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs