upReach partners with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to help improve students’ access to Financial Services

The social mobility charity upReach has partnered with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) in an effort to help improve access to the Financial Services sector for students from less-advantaged backgrounds.

Through this new partnership with BofAML, funding will support upReach’s new ‘Banking and Finance Springboard’, a programme designed to help 90 students from less-advantaged backgrounds to access career opportunities in financial services.

The programme will see upReach provide students with personalised one-to-one support, including Insight Days and Skills Workshops, application support, interview and assessment centre preparation and an online banking course. This support will help the students to make high quality applications to the sector, which in turn, will help to increase the number who secure jobs.

Anthony Harte, head of community engagement, EMEA at BofAML said, “We recognise that too many young people still face serious barriers to a productive future. That is why we are delighted to work with upReach to pilot the ‘Banking and Finance Springboard’. The programme will provide young people from less-advantaged backgrounds with an opportunity to access professional jobs in the financial services sector, and gives Bank of America Merrill Lynch an opportunity to play a key role in helping to level the playing field.”

Borne from a shared a belief in equal access to top careers regardless of social background, BofAML is also working closely with upReach on the progression of applicants from less-advantaged backgrounds into the company. Since this partnership launched in November 2016, 31 upReach students have taken part in an insight day at the bank; 10 joined BofAML’s 2017 Spring Insight programme (two of whom have been offered places on the bank’s 2018 Summer Intern programme); one will join BofAML’s 2017 Summer Intern programme; and another will join the 2017 full time analyst programme.

News of the programme follows the publication of research conducted by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 2014, which found that 51% of leaders in the banking sector and 60% of leaders in the financial services sector went to independent schools, compared to 7% of the school population.1

1http://www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/pathwaystobankingreport-24-jan-2014.pdf

upReach is a charitable organisation supporting less-privileged undergraduates to secure top jobs. Through our partnerships with top employers, and with a devoted team, we work closely with undergraduates for their personal and career development. Learn more at upreach.org.uk.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Environment, Social and Governance
At Bank of America Merrill Lynch, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with not-for-profits and advocate groups, such as community and environmental organisations, in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about, and connect with us on Twitter @BofAML.

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