1. Home
  2. Careers
  3. Life@BP
  4. Our stories
  5. Brian Gilvary talks inclusion and how BP is supporting underprivileged people in the UK

Brian Gilvary talks inclusion and how BP is supporting underprivileged people in the UK

Published: 29 November 2019

Brian Gilvary, BP's chief financial officer, spoke about the importance of ensuring equal opportunities for everyone – regardless of social class, gender, ethnicity and religion – when he attended the the CBI’s annual conference in London
From left: Brian Gilvary, Ruth Harrison (ThoughtWorks), Faisal Islam (BBC and facilitating the panel), Denise Wilson (Hampton-Alexander Review), The Most Rev Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury)

Gilvary joined a discussion alongside other business leaders and the Archbishop of Canterbury (the principal leader of the Church of England). He spoke about the role of business in improving social mobility and highlighted how BP is supporting underprivileged young people in the UK.

 

At BP we fully embrace different perspectives and different experiences. They make us a much richer and more rounded company – helping us innovate and develop the best solutions for the most challenging problems.Brian GilvaryChief financial officer

 

School years are critical

“We know the school years are critical in setting young people on their future path. We partner with many schools and colleges across the UK where, in addition to BP’s funding, our staff volunteers help inspire employees of the future and boost their confidence by providing advice, mentoring and work experience that showcase different career opportunities – often careers not previously considered.

 

We’re also encouraging young people to study STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, maths), which are typically under-represented by young women, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged students.

 

“We established our BP Educational Service (BPES) over 50 years ago in 1968, creating STEM teaching resources for primary and secondary schools to demonstrate real world context for learning. I’m proud to say that over 50% of all UK secondary schools and almost 25% of primary schools used our resources in the past year.

 

In addition, BP’s Schools Link programme has been running for the past 50 years. Today, we partner with over 100 primary and secondary schools close to BP’s major sites, allowing our staff to provide guidance for students, as well as work experience and internships.”

 

Gilvary's personal journey

Gilvary also highlighted his own journey from a working-class household in Liverpool, where he overcame early learning difficulties and went on to rise through the ranks of BP – demonstrating meritocracy in action.

 

He said: “I could never have succeeded with my background if BP wasn’t a meritocratic company.”

 

Around 1,200 business delegates attended the conference, ranging from small organizations to large corporates and covering all sectors.

BP is committed to supporting communities wherever it operates. In the UK we have been supporting young people, education and the arts for more than 50 years

Education

In 2013, BP commissioned and funded the Enterprising Science research programme with University College London, King’s College London and the Science Museum Group. The programme created five years of research in classrooms and out of school settings into the factors that influence interest in science. These insights were used to create guidance for educators and policy-makers on an effective STEM teaching approach to improve aspiration to choose STEM careers.

 

This research has been put into practice through the National STEM Centre’s Aspire to STEM programme for disadvantaged schools. In addition, the Science Museum Group Academy of science and engagement is funded by BP to support teachers in building science capital through informal learning.

 

Teaching resources

 

BP established BP Educational Service (BPES) in 1968 – creating STEM teaching resources for primary and secondary schools to demonstrate real world context for learning. Over 50% of all UK secondary schools and almost 25% of primary schools used BPES resources in the past year.

 

BP supports Project ENTHUSE which provides bursaries for continuing professional development (CPD) training for teachers in STEM subjects.

Young people

BP’s Schools Link programme has been running for 50 years. Today, BP partners with over 100 primary and secondary schools close to BP’s major sites.Employee volunteers provide business insights, careers guidance and mentoring, as well as work experience and internships. BP offers around 250 work experience placements and provides business/ technical mentors for students.

 

Unlocking potential

 

BP has supported Career Ready since 2002, providing paid internships to 16-18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds. These internships last 6 to 8 weeks and help connect young people with the world of work – building confidence, helping unlock potential and opening their eyes to possibilities they may not have considered. Over 300 students have participated. BP also supports a range of apprenticeships including in IT, HR, trading and shipping.

 

Nationwide competition

 

BP has run the Ultimate STEM Challenge for the past five years. The Challenge is a nationwide competition for 9 to 14 year olds, which is run with STEM Learning. It helps young people to develop creativity and problem-solving skills and increase their future employability.

Arts

BP has supported the arts in the UK for over 50 years, with a focus on making the arts more accessible to wider audiences. BP’s support has enabled over 50 million people to experience the arts through long-term partnerships including the British Museum, National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Opera House.