The New Year’s Honours List recognises people who have made remarkable contributions to public life by helping others or excelling in their field. Christine’s award is a tribute to her education outreach and being an ambassador for apprenticeship programmes that have fostered diversity at Capgemini.
Youth unemployment is a persistent problem for the UK economy – this has serious implications for UK businesses, including Capgemini, that face a considerable challenge in attracting new talent. In December 2014, Christine was asked by the Government to set up and Chair a new company, the aim of which is to help inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. The ambition was to create a network of business volunteers helping to connect the worlds of business and education and to give young people valuable work experience.
Five years later, The Careers & Enterprise Company is at the heart of the Government’s careers strategy with 200 ‘cornerstone’ businesses committing to support careers education in schools in disadvantaged areas and over 2,500 senior people from businesses, including some Capgemini colleagues, working with schools and colleges to improve careers provision.
“Through my work with The Careers & Enterprise Company I have seen how careers education is key to transforming the opportunities and lives of young people and be a real driver of social mobility,” commented Christine. “After decades of underperformance, when careers provision was patchy and poor, we are now witnessing radical change – driven by a new world-class approach. Careers education is improving fast and is having a real impact on the job choices and life chances of young people.
“More than two million young people are now meeting regularly with employers and learning about the world of work – up 70% in two years. National performance, as measured by the Gatsby Benchmarks, has improved by 50% over the same period. Disadvantaged areas like the Black Country, Tees Valley and The Humber are among the highest performing in the country.
“We have now seen that young people are becoming better informed and prepared for the world of work – it’s opening their eyes to the vast range of opportunities out there and improving their life chances, as they make the move from education to employment.”
At Capgemini, our mission is to drive positive change, not only for ourselves and our clients, but for society as a whole. We are committed to creating pathways to employment for young people from all backgrounds and providing our employees with the most up to date and desirable skills through several key initiatives, including investing in the development of apprenticeship programmes. We have partnered with the likes of The Careers & Enterprise Company, The Prince’s Trust, Apps for Good and Urban Synergy, as such partnerships allow us to deliver at scale for the long term as well as supporting potentially excluded people achieve their potential. During the last academic year, our employees interacted with nearly 7,000 students, of which half were female, and provided support to help develop their skill set for the future workplace.