The Education Partnership Award: Coventry Building Society

 

Action and Impact

Young people living in socially deprived areas often struggle to gain real-life work experience, limiting their aspiration and ability to develop the skills and attitudes needed to be successful at work.

Coventry Building Society’s Employability programme is designed to rectify this by giving students from the UK’s most deprived areas a chance to develop skills and build their confidence.

So far, 209 students have taken part and benefitted from a series of 12 sessions including a workplace visit. Seven have been successful in securing a paid internship at the company itself, which lead to permanent Saturday staff job offers. Meanwhile, two winners of the ‘Student of the Year’ attended a week’s paid work experience at the Society, with four runners-up spending a day shadowing a senior manager.

The programme has had a big impact on student confidence, with 93% of students reporting a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ improvement in their communication and listening skills and 86% reporting a ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ improvement in their confidence. And 90% of them students felt their chances of employment had increased by a ‘good' or ‘excellent’ amount thanks to the skills learnt on the programme.

For the business, the scheme has boosted employee engagement, recruitment and staff development, with 188 volunteers taking part so far.