Finance Firms Should Help The Underprivileged Potential Workforce

The UK's top financial firms have been told they need to smash the "glass walls" that have been making it very difficult for young people from underprivileged backgrounds to secure jobs with them. 

The City of London Business Traineeship scheme has said that companies need give these bright young people as much of a chance as their more privileged peers. The scheme itself gives young people the chance to work in banks, law firms, insurance companies, finance houses and recruitment agencies on summer placements, and is calling for more firms to sign up. 

Stuart Fraser, from the City of London Corporation's resources committee, which runs the scheme with the Brokerage Citylink, said that the recruitment of such young people by banks and financial firms can prove to be of tremendous benefit all round. 

"The scheme offers young people living in some of the UK's most deprived boroughs the opportunity to engage and work in the Square Mile on their doorstep," Fraser said. "It helps raise aspirations and break down the glass walls stopping them entering professional careers - many of which are founded on false assumptions or lack of early careers advice.

He said that the City would benefit from a "skilled and diverse workforce" and access to "trained, ambitious brainpower." 

However Geoff Newman from online recruitment ageny RecruitmentGenius.com disagrees that young people from disadvantage backgrounds is a significant problem.

"Naturally we need to ensure everyone gets the best opportunity in life, but with record unemployment creating competition for jobs many young people must accept responsibility for the future and not expect privileges because they are 'underprivileged'. Most importantly I have always seen the financial sector recruit primarily on attitude, then academics which in many ways creates a level-playing field for everyone."

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