The initiative aims to create ‘a sense of belonging’ for those typically ‘under-served’ by the likes of the insurance industry

Broker Aon has today (18 October 2022) launched its Work Insights Programme in the UK, with the aim of enhancing social mobility and career opportunities for college students from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The programme, which will start in February 2023, is designed for those in year 12 (aged 16 to 17) and will offer a total of 1000 in-person and virtual work experience placements per annum for three years.

Hybrid programmes will include 700 in-person opportunities at Aon’s seven largest offices in Bristol, Birmingham, Chelmsford, Farnborough, London, Leeds and Glasgow.

Meanwhile, virtual programmes will take place three times a year – providing 300 places annually.

Aon has partnered with state-funded schools to ensure that the selection process for the initiative is diverse by considering areas where a high percentage of students receive free school meals, for example.

The programme will comprise of interactive learning sessions, speakers, panels, group projects, skill sessions and networking.

Taking action

Sean Carney, partner and head of Human Capital Solutions at Aon UK, said that it’s “clear” today’s youth need “further guidance and support to kickstart their careers and build their networks” – this is due to growing economic pressures and financial services industries typically showing a “poor track record for hiring from disadvantaged backgrounds”.

He continued: “Work experience can be an intimidating experience for many young people and this can cause the workplace to become inaccessible to them, especially those from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

“We have designed this programme specifically to address this under-served group, make it accessible and create a sense of belonging for all students.

“We hope that this programme will positively impact and enhance the lives of many while helping to build more resilient workforces.

“Supporting diverse recruitment in financial and professional services is a critical priority at Aon and we are excited to take real action on social mobility to push the insurance industry towards generating greater opportunities for all.”