Every summer, budding interns from the Career Ready programme join BP for summer internships within IST in Canary Wharf, the ICBT in Sunbury and our North Sea headquarters for six-week paid internships.
They are designed to support students, some of whom are from challenging backgrounds, to build their essential work skills in communication, team work and networking.
In the past 10 years, more than 100 students have joined BP as interns – and gone on to achieve more. The programme is sponsored internally by Brian Puffer, CFO, IST, and is one of our long-standing BP in the community initiatives. One of the programme’s key drivers is to support social mobility and the journey to employment for the young people taking part.
Four Career Ready interns have been offered roles in BP – testament to our employee volunteers for providing these great opportunities, and to Career Ready for enabling BP to work with these determined young people.
One such intern is Joshua Wakefield, who participated in a paid internship at BP in the 2017 Career Ready programme and is now working in the operations team.
Wakefield says the experience helped him to develop the skills, confidence and opportunity needed to start a career at BP: “Before Career Ready, I didn’t have much of a plan for my future and what I wanted to achieve. My internship made me much more focused and determined.”
Career Ready is a UK registered charity whose mission is to ensure every young person should have the skills, confidence and opportunity to enjoy a rewarding future. It works across the UK to connect disadvantaged young people with the world of work, unlocking their potential and levelling the playing field.
A student at North Kent College, Joshua Wakefield enjoyed a paid internship at BP in 2017 through the Career Ready programme.
“Career Ready and my paid internship at BP completely changed my outlook,” he says.
“During my time at BP, I was able to experience what it was like to work 9-5 – including the pains of unreliable trains – and to take part in conference calls with people from across the world and make friends for life with the other interns.
“I really enjoyed the experience of working at BP and, subsequently, I became more focused and determined to start a career, as I knew that university wasn’t for me.
“On completing the Career Ready programme and achieving a triple distinction in my business and economics course, I began to apply for school leaver programmes in and around the City of London.
“After completing many stages of online applications, tests, online interviews, face-to-face interviews and assessment centres with different companies, I was lucky enough to receive an offer to join an investment bank.”
But there was a surprising development, says Wakefield. “I also received a call from a former colleague at BP who recommended that I apply for a position there. As my internship had shown such a positive view of BP and I was impressed with the attitude towards work within the company, I decided to accept the position at BP instead.
“I’m currently working in the operations department, where the I help to maximise commercial value for BP voyages while ensuring that safety is at the forefront of the business. This involves ensuring that the tanks in Scandinavia are continuously filled with stock, as train movements take place every day to fill local airports, as well as ensuring that I am aligned with the traders over when they need to bring stocks into these regions.”