Young people in Liverpool to get support to access top careers in finance and engineering

Teenagers in Liverpool and surrounding areas will get support to access competitive jobs in finance and engineering, through a new partnership between the University of Liverpool and the Sutton Trust.

The partnership will see an expansion of two of the Trust’s successful Pathways programmes to the region, Pathways to Engineering, and Pathways to Banking and Finance. This expansion follows a highly successful partnership with the University of Liverpool on their Pathways to Law programme. The Pathways programmes support high-attaining students from lower-income backgrounds to access leading careers.

Students across both programmes will be supported over two academic years to build the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to go into higher education and the workplace. They’ll gain access to industry insight placements, experience undergraduate learning through lectures and workshops, network with professionals, and take part in social activities.

The programmes will benefit 70 students this year, who live within commuting distance from the university. The regional expansion marks an important step towards improving access to the professions for students in all areas of the country.

The expansion of Pathways to Banking and Finance to Liverpool has been supported by the programme’s founding corporate partner Deutsche Bank, alongside a consortium of other funding partners and supporters.

The Sutton Trust’s Pathways programmes are designed to widen access to the professions, providing both academic and sector specific support to help young people to make informed choices about their career paths. The in-person Pathways programme offers work experience placements, a programme of after-school and weekend events, and the chance to attend a four-day residential conference packed with talks, skills sessions and networking opportunities.

As a response to the pandemic, the Sutton Trust have also introduced a Pathways Online stream, to provide guidance, support and insight to students who do not live near a partner university, or who prefer to study remotely.

The Sutton Trust’s Pathways programmes are open to all Year 12 students who attend – and have always attended – a state school or college in the UK, and to pupils who live within a commutable distance to the university they are applying to. There are additional eligibility criteria which include having been entitled for free school meals, being the first in their family to attend university and achieving 5 GCSEs at grades 7 to 9. Applications for all of the Pathways programmes are now open and will close by November.

Analysis of UCAS data found that young people who took part in Pathways programmes between 2006 and 2016 were three and a half times more likely to receive an offer from a top university than their classmates with similar grades and from similar backgrounds.

James Turner, chief executive of the Sutton Trust said: “Our Pathways programmes are a fantastic opportunity for young people to gain insights into competitive careers and to get a first foot on the ladder to university and the professions We are thrilled that students from Liverpool will now be able to access these opportunities which we know can make a real difference to their futures.”

Professor Gavin Brown, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education at the University of Liverpool said: “Building on our successful partnership with Sutton Trust in promoting access to legal career pathways, the University of Liverpool is delighted to expand this important work into new Pathways programmes for finance and engineering.

“As a research-intensive university with a strong track-record of improving the social mobility of our students, we recognise the importance of widening access to university for all those with the potential to succeed.

“By bringing together employers, academics and current students, we will support participants to go on to fulfilling careers including in advanced engineering, banking and finance/financial technology.”

Tiina Lee, Deutsche Bank CEO, UK & Ireland said: “Deutsche Bank has long advocated for widening access to our industry, and as the Pathways to Banking & Finance founding corporate partner we’re proud to see this exciting expansion. It’s fantastic that high-achieving young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in Liverpool, Merseyside and the West Midlands will now have the opportunity to apply to future cohorts.

“It’s crucial that the financial sector continues to recognise the importance of diverse incoming talent – regardless of socio-economic background. It’s critical to raise aspirations, dispel myths of banking and finance and ensure bright young people have the knowledge to make informed decisions about their own futures. We look forward to continuing our support of this transformative programme.”