As the upReach Manchester office begins its second year, over 40 upReach Associates spent this afternoon broadening their horizons at our Careers Academy hosted by PwC Manchester.
upReach Careers Academies are designed to allow students to gain exposure to a broad range of career sectors, increasing knowledge of career pathways and raising aspirations through sessions delivered by top employers. Skill development sessions were led by Bank of America, Unilever and Unlocked and a mock assessment centre was led by PwC. Associates also gained invaluable insights into Banking and Finance thanks to the motivational talk by Nigel Khakoo, former Global Head G10 Foreign Exchange at Nomura.
Introducing the Careers Academy, John Craven, CEO of upReach stressed the importance of building experience, career knowledge and skills during university, encouraging Associates to take every development opportunity they can.
We were delighted to welcome as keynote speaker a member of the upReach Development Advisory Board, Brian Gilvary, who shared his own social mobility journey with Associates – from growing up on a council estate in a big family in Liverpool to his role as CFO of BP. Associates were inspired to hear about Brian’s achievements, as well as his own enthusiasm for BP’s future in the climate change debate.
Brian Gilvary, member of the upReach Development Advisory Board, shared with Associates:
“I know what it’s like to come from a certain background. There is systemic bias inside society wherever you are in the world, and something that upReach does is level the playing field – which is a huge benefit to a lot of people. There is nothing that limits you if you are able to realise what your ambitions are. Use the opportunities that come your way – upReach is a great opportunity. In my experience, a diverse inclusive team will always generate strong results.”
The upReach Development Advisory Board was established in 2018 to enable individuals to support our mission to boost social mobility in the UK. Each board member is invited to help us develop our long term strategy, and commit to making an annual contribution to the Charity for at least two years. Through their support, upReach were able to open a new office in Manchester in September 2018 and expand this by an additional two upReach team members in July 2019, allowing us to support more students from the North of England.
John Craven, Chief Executive of upReach, said:
“Opening an office in Manchester has allowed us to work with more students from areas where social mobility is an even greater issue than in the capital. Increasingly, our partners are recognising and embracing the challenge of tackling the lack of opportunity across the country, and we are delighted to have been joined by five of them at today’s Careers Academy. We are very grateful to Brian for delivering such an inspirational speech today, and for the investment that he and other individuals on our Development Advisory Board have made which has enabled upReach to accelerate our growth.”
This year, upReach programmes will provide tailored support to 1,600 students from across the UK. This has increased tremendously since our initial cohort of 39 students when upReach was founded in 2012, and due to the ongoing support of our Development Advisory Board, also represents students from more areas of the UK. As a result of opening an office in Manchester, upReach have formed partnerships with the University of Manchester and a number of local employers, increasing the number of places available to students on the upReach programmes, and the range of employers across which Associates can access specific application support and exclusive events through upReach.
Dulcie is a Law student at the University of Liverpool. She joined upReach in 2018, and recently secured a Vacation Scheme at Addleshaw Goddard in their Manchester office.
“Having a Programme Coordinator based in Manchester means I am able to immerse myself in all that upReach has to offer, including employability workshops, one-to-one meetings, and so on. Workshops and meetings hosted at the University of Liverpool are especially beneficial as I can work them around my lectures and seminars.”
Zach is in his fourth year studying Business and Management at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is from Nottingham, and has secured a Summer Vacation Scheme with Greensill Capital.
“The focal reason for my success is my Programme Coordinator. Since upReach opened an office in Manchester my access to support has been excellent. I have had the freedom to meet my Programme Coordinator in person, in a relaxed and professional environment. Because of this I gained the opportunity to present at the Manchester office launch event. Since then my confidence when communicating has increased, which was a factor in my success at the Greensill Assessment Centre.”
upReach plans to expand further geographically in the coming years, enabling us to continue to address regional disadvantage and have an even greater impact supporting students like Dulcie and Zach to reach their full career potential.