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Supporting students get ‘Career Ready’ in Tees Valley

31 January 2024
Students in Tees Valley are set to benefit from employability support and opportunities thanks to the expansion of the partnership between bp and Career Ready, a leading social mobility charity in the UK.
Students in Tees Valley

The partnership, which launched on 31 January, will see up to 40 young people, aged 16-18, at six schools and colleges, and from underrepresented socio-economic backgrounds, receive support which can include one-to-one mentoring, paid work experience placements, skills masterclasses, and workplace visits from a range of local employers as part of the Career Ready programme.


This builds on the longstanding relationship between bp and Career Ready over the last 12 years which has supported over 500 students in London and Aberdeen. bp and Career Ready will now work together to also support young people across Tees Valley develop their workplace skills, knowledge, and experience, helping to boost their future career prospects.


It is part of a major community investment by bp in Tees Valley’s young talent, intended to help level up the region and showcase the future jobs that could be supported via bp’s projects on Teesside.


The charity is calling for more local employers to get involved and help more local young people in the area achieve their potential by providing workplace mentoring and paid internships.


Tees Valley has been identified as a social mobility cold spot, ranking in the highest 20% of UK local authorities for childhood poverty and disadvantage and the lowest 20% for promising prospect and socio-cultural advantage*.


Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, CEO of Career Ready, said:

“We’re delighted to be working with bp in Tees Valley to help ensure that young people have the workplace opportunities and support they need to kickstart their futures. There’s never been a more important time to invest in young people and we urge other employers to join us in supporting Tees Valley’s next generation of talent.”


The partnership will launch at Middlesbrough Football Club on 31 January with an event where the young people supported by the Career Ready programme will meet their mentors and supporting businesses for the first time, launching their journey to becoming career ready.


Tom Thayer, Skills Partnership Manager at bp, added:


“We are incredibly proud to be able to expand on our partnership with Career Ready; offering young people in Tees Valley additional support and opportunities they need to help boost their career prospects. Over the years, our established relationship with Career Ready has already helped equip hundreds of young people across the UK with the resources and skills needed to excel in their early work life, and we’re excited to see the benefits the programme will bring to the Tees Valley.”


To find out more about the Career Ready programme and to get involved, visit www.careerready.org.uk

For further information, high-res images, or to arrange an interview please contact tom.rippon@careerready.org.uk, Head of Communications.

Notes to editors

About Career Ready

Career Ready is a UK-wide social mobility charity founded in 2002 to empower young people aged 16-18 from under-represented backgrounds and communities, giving their talents a platform to flourish.


In partnership with a network of employers and schools and colleges, Career Ready delivers a structured careers programme of a paid internship and mentor from a single employer, along with skills masterclasses and workplace visits.


The Career Ready programme gives young people the key skills, self-esteem, and support networks they need to achieve their potential, boosting their social mobility, attainment, and wellbeing:

  • 98% of programme graduate go into higher education, apprenticeships, or work
  • 92% of students rated a majority of their skills a strength by the end of the programme
  • 87% of Career Ready alumni said programme had a positive impact on their life
  • Career Ready alumni have a network twice the size of their non-programme peer

In 2023, Career Ready supported 4,240 young people in 242 schools and colleges across the UK, in partnership with 384 employers and 2,200 volunteers.

The seven schools and colleges that Career Ready will work with in Tees Valley are:

- Bede Sixth Form College
- Middlesbrough College Sixth Form
- Prior Pursglove College
- Redcar & Cleveland College
- Stockton Sixth Form College
- Stockton Riverside College

Statistics cited

 *The Social Mobility Commission: Social Mobility Data by area