Busting industry myths with Key4Life, a charity working with ex-offenders

This July, Schroders partnered with Key4Life, an innovative crime prevention charity, to host an employability workshop and work experience for young men in our Communications, Information Security and Workplace Services teams. 

Key4Life, a Schroders Giving partner, focuses on reducing inequalities and tackling social mobility. The charity work to improve the futures of some of the most marginalised young people in our society by breaking down barriers to education and employment, as well as supporting their mental health.  

In April this year, we announced our support for Key4Life for the second consecutive year, supporting the aim to find real solutions to reduce youth offending. Richard Keers, Chief Financial Officer explains: “I’ve seen first-hand the fantastic work Key4Life do in being part of the solution to reduce inequalities. I’m proud that Schroders has been able partner with this unique charity to host nine of their resilient and inspiring young men for workplace tasters.”

For some of the young men, coming into Schroders was their first time in a business environment and so the employability workshop began with an introduction from Richard Keers. He took the time to introduce them to the asset management industry and discussed how to create a positive experience in a working environment.

Eva Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer of Key4Life, said: “The day was really well put together from the beginning to the end, and the young men gained so much on a variety of levels. We are all very grateful for this successful start to the second year of our partnership."

A number of the young men who attended the workshop also joined teams across the business for work experience and the opportunity to experience and manage the world of work. 

We caught up with two of the work taster candidates, Ismail and Forbes, to see how they got on. After a hesitant start Forbes explained: “I didn’t know what to expect, I was nervous before coming into Schroders. I wasn’t sure what the people would be like or the energy, but I learnt a lot on the first day. The nerves soon went, the company and people are good.”

Ismail adds: “I was surprised by Schroders, I didn’t expect it to be this cool. It’s been a really good experience and opportunity, and after the second day, I didn’t feel like a stranger, I felt like I was part of the family and I’ve learnt a lot. I’m grateful for the opportunity from Key4Life and everyone at Schroders. I was grateful to even be considered and involved in this opportunity let alone be here.”

One purpose of the work taster is to help bust the myths of the financial service industry. Ismail said, “It’s caught my attention as I like listening and learning to new things; I’ve found the information security side of things really interesting. How Schroders uses technology and the methods they have to detect security threats is so cool.”

Forbes explains, “There are so many avenues within finance that I didn’t know about. What goes on behind the scenes of the financial world is super interesting. This experience really stands out. The location, the people, the information, there are a lot of aspects that are going to stick with me.”

A huge thank you to all of the men from Key4Life for their passion and enthusiasm, and to all those at Schroders who helped make this a success.

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