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Barclays set sights higher for SEND students

On 7 November, we were delighted to organise an insight day with Barclays Plc and students with SEND from Lime Academy Forest Approach School in Havering.

After months of careful planning with Imran Ali, Wealth Management Executive Manager, it was evident this insight day was going to be something special from the moment the students arrived.  Imran wanted to support our SEND schools and give local schools an opportunity to visit the office.

The students – many of whom had never travelled outside their locality – arrived in suits with prepared questions, ready for a day in the corporate world.

View across London from 30th floor of Barclays' offices.

Barclays were keen to impress too. The students were escorted to the boardroom high up on the 30th floor overlooking London. This breath-taking view was a befitting backdrop for a day exploring the students’ unbound potential and career aspirations.

A raft of volunteers from across the organisation gave the students an insight into the huge variety of different careers and roles at Barclays including marketing, IT, facilities, and security. Through interactive workshops, hosted by members of the team at Barclays, the students explored their strengths and how these can relate to careers.

More members of the Barclays team from different departments joined the students for a networking event, where students and the bank’s staff were able to find out more about each other, their roles and dreams. Despite being in a new environment unlike anything they had experienced previously, the students showed great maturity and confidence; their readiness to seize the opportunity impressed the professionals as well as their schoolteachers.

Student talking to member of Barclays staff

The feedback from employers, teachers and students was very positive. All of the students said they learnt something new from the event and it made them think about different types of jobs.

Imran Ali, Wealth Management Executive Manager at Barclays Plc said “The students and staff were so engaging, so interested in learning. It has been brilliant. The winners are the students here and I am over the moon that it has enhanced their aspirations.”

Tracey Greenhill, Forest Approach School’s careers leader said “I am so proud of our learners, what an amazing opportunity they had today. Every aspect of the day met their needs and exceeded their expectations. All the speakers and volunteers spoke with such passion and positivity. We would love to continue to build on this success look forward to meeting again soon. Thank you for believing in our learners and helping them to see that they can achieve anything if they want it and work hard.”

Sarah Murray, Director of Local London, commented “When barriers are removed SEND students can achieve greater success. Through our relationships with businesses, carefully nurtured by the Careers Hub team, students across our nine boroughs are not only raising, but widening their aspirations. Insight days are invaluable for all students. The care Barclays put into developing this day is exemplary and a testament to the work put in by Imran, Smita and the Careers lead at Forest Approach School. We would love to engage with more businesses like Barclays.”

Insight days give students an immersive experience into the culture and different roles available within a business or sector that they may not have otherwise considered.

We welcome offers to hold insight days from all employers across Local London. Our careers hub team will support you to develop the day in order to achieve the best outcome for all.

If you are interested in supporting our schools and would like more information on how you can be involved, please contact us via – careershub.east@redbridge.gov.uk or via Linkedin.

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