Students in Tees Valley are set to benefit after the expansion of a partnership between bp and a leading social mobility charity.

The partnership with Career Ready, which launched just a few days ago,  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.

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.

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It is part of a major community investment by bp  - a leading voice in The Northern Echo's Level Up campaign for more jobs and investment - 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.

Tom Thayer, Skills Partnership Manager at bp, said: “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.”

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.”