‘It’s not where you’re from, it’s where you’re going’

During June and July Experience collaborated with Deloitte to invest in the future talent of students by running programmes across the UK called ‘ASPIRE’. Deloitte has made a pledge to support social mobility, changing the way they recruit and committing to nurturing talents of younger generations. Making an impact that matters.

Fostering talent lies high on the agenda for these projects, now in its fourth year, utilising feedback from the students attending to develop the programme, tailoring it to their needs.

ASPIRE is Deloitte’s work experience programme which runs annually since 2015. This is a week-long activity, specifically for Year 12 & 13 students who come from low socio-economic backgrounds. Deloitte partners with a number of schools and colleges and as part of their application, students are asked what has inspired them to apply and why they want to be a part of ASPIRE. This allows us to understand the motivation behind getting involved.

For students of lower socio-economic backgrounds access to different training or accountancy programmes has not always been available. Experience are proud to assist Deloitte in supporting a programme for which the focus is to acknowledge and support talented individuals and remain inclusive of all backgrounds. Access is important. The focus of these programmes is to inspire and nurture students, assisting their development with academic skills, build confidence and provide direct mentoring support.

The founding focus for the ASPIRE programmes back in 2015 was to provide wider access to accountancy. Access Accountancy is a union of more than 25 professional services firms dedicated to improving access to accounting across the UK.

The programme’s success is built from a solid foundation, not only does it ensure that its technology is updated to reflect live and accurate easily accessible data, the programme also provides a wealth of support in services;  from work experience from professional bodies, to workshops, seminars and tailored mentoring sessions. Access Accountancy is available, no matter what your background.

The programme not only accommodates students but also offers guidance and support to those seeking employment or strategic degree programmes. With support from professional bodies and the latest creative concepts and initiatives to assist their ambition, the Deloitte programmes utilise the latest in news, data and technology. Access Accountancy as a programme is truly poignant in the progression for social mobility.

The ASPIRE weeks have been developed and shaped using eight essential skills. Skills Builder believes these essential skills underpin success in every stage of life. Each day is shaped around two of these skills, through debating (facilitated by Debate Mate), business challenges, personable skills training and an immersive case study.

At Experience we harnessed our creativity and developed a series of interactions for the students to collaborate and work through, activities such as The Curiosity Challenge, an interactive activity based on Deloitte’s five curiosity drivers. Each challenge takes on a driver that requires varying skill sets, from teamwork and listening, to leadership and innovation. Other activities include personal brand development, interactive icebreakers, innovation games and strategic focused challenges. These interactions enrich the student experience and build on their skill sets.

Jessica Nicholls, Deloitte
September 2019

“I love being part of the Deloitte ASPIRE work experience week, seeing the confidence in the young people grow throughout the week is inspirational. The feedback we get is remarkable and the students take away skills that I know will help them in their futures.”

Jessica Nicholls, Deloitte

Our Experience facilitators lead innovative and engaging sessions, immersing the students in challenges and experiences, equipping them with important skills. We work together with Deloitte in nurturing students to develop and build on their essential skills, with a hands-on team they are available to support and guide each student, developing skills and supporting their learning journey.

By the end of the week it is exceptionally rewarding to see students who at the start of the week were nervous of speaking to presenting ideas in front of the whole group with courage and conviction by the end of the week.

ASPIRE ends with an awards ceremony. Students who have demonstrated the most progress by building on one of the eight essential skills is given a certificate and a £50 online shopping voucher. But, it doesn’t end there, through MyKindaFuture, mentors from within Deloitte have been sourced to provide on-going support for students for up to twelve months following the programme.

Where you are from should not determine where you are going, with social mobility projects like this, we can ensure the future talents of the UK are nurtured, knowledgeable and inspired in an engaging way to find their future path and aspirations.

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