KPMG help over 350 Birmingham students become “WorkReady”

13 volunteers from KPMG’s Birmingham office have swapped their desks for the classroom to help students from less advantaged communities to become ready for the world of work.

Over 350 students attended KPMG’s WorkReady summer employability tour sessions at Shenley Academy and the University of Birmingham School, to develop the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. The programme aims to ensure the UK’s future workforce is equipped with the capabilities needed by prospective employers, through professional insight talks, CV development and mock interview workshops, and guidance and support on school leaver pathways into KPMG.

Commenting on the programme, Shenley Academy Principal, Lucy Monk, said:

“WorkReady is a great addition to the programme of support we have received for several years from KPMG. Our students really responded to the interactive nature of the workshops – using KPMG insight from volunteers to showcase the importance of key employability skills was extremely effective in reinforcing the session’s multiple learning outcomes.”

Karl Edge, Birmingham Office Senior Partner and Midlands Regional Chairman at KPMG UK, added:

“I’m really proud to support Shenley Academy and the University of Birmingham School through the WorkReady tour, as social mobility is an issue that affects us all, but it’s one we can tackle by working together.

“At KPMG, we’re committed to helping our communities, and the WorkReady tour gives young people in Birmingham the opportunity to prepare for the changing world of work, by connecting them with volunteers from across the firm. It’s so important that we raise awareness of these opportunities with our young people, so that we can equip them with the skills they need for the next generation, and start to overcome the skills deficit.”

The programme, which has been running across the UK for four years, sees more than 70 volunteers from the professional services firm visit over 15 schools to reach out to 2000 plus students from less advantaged communities.

The three key areas the firm has identified as most valuable to students who have or will be attending the tour are:

  • Exploring the ways the world of work is changing
  • Understanding the importance of STEM skills – both now and in the future
  • Practice and development of a range of key interpersonal and ‘soft’ skills to help them succeed in the workplace

Volunteers build on insights gained from their everyday working lives and discuss topics such as the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’, with a strong focus on technology and automation. They also share insights from the various industries they work in, looking at key technical and mathematical skills of the future. A series of fun and competitive activities also demonstrate the importance of key transferrable skills which many young people may not realise are of interest to future employers. Abilities such as teamwork, creative problem solving, negotiation and an everyday knowledge of technology and the changing ways in which we communicate are often overlooked by students as skills business leaders look for, but they will help prepare students for a range of rewarding careers, including options within professional services.

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