Friday 09 Aug
Updated Friday 09 Aug 17:30

Foundation giving young people the chance to shine with LTSB

The West Ham United Foundation is once again working with Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB) to offer young people the opportunity to develop skills necessary for a successful career. 

Leadership Through Sport & Business is a national social mobility charity that prepare and support bright young people who face disadvantage into secure, sustainable, high-quality careers in accounting, business and finance alongside digital and tech. Working alongside the Foundation they provide young people with personal and professional development to prepare them for the world of work.

The LTSB programme provides young people with a platform to enhance many qualities such as communication, practical skills, resilience and critical thinking. The four-month pre-employment phase allows future young leaders to develop skills through sessions on commercial awareness, CV writing, public speaking, personal branding and interview practice. 

The purpose of these sessions is to prepare the participants for interviews with respective employers but also to educate, inform and grow understanding of the importance of the various subject areas in a working environment. Throughout the programme there are also speed interviews, guest speaker events, exclusive corporate experiences alongside undergoing recognised vocational qualifications which are all aimed at upskilling the cohort to become the best that they can be.

The life-changing apprenticeship programme begins in September and consists of two phases; a four-month unpaid pre-apprenticeship phase, followed by a paid Level 3 apprenticeship with blue-chip companies. Candidates are given the training and skills to succeed through education, employability and enrichment, with it aimed at young people between 16-21 who have faced disadvantage in any form during their life. 

Throughout the programme the young leaders receive continuous support from the West Ham United Foundation’s Learning Mentors who lead on the project. The topics covered in sessions include interview tips, CV advice and support with getting into long-term employment.

Participants also meet with corporate mentors; they have later said that being able to have somebody that works in the industry to work alongside has been incredibly helpful and exactly what they needed. The corporate mentors have contributed in many ways helping with interview techniques, CVs and even helping the young people develop their online presence through creating professional and effective LinkedIn profiles.

Ade Otubanjo, the Foundation’s Leadership Through Sports and Business Lead, spoke about the programme’s success saying: “The work that the Foundation does with LTSB has such a positive impact on members of the community. 

“I am excited to start working with a new cohort in September and being able to help more young people develop skills that are invaluable in building a successful career. By working with those that have experienced some kind of disadvantage in their life, we remind them that nothing is out of reach and support them to find their dream career.”

Previous participants of the programme have gone on to do many amazing things, with many being kept on by their employers from the programme for permanent roles, and others venturing out into new sectors. Over the last five years the LTSB programme has engaged with 94 young people across east London, with 91% of young people successfully completing the pre-employment phase and 87% completed or currently completing their apprenticeship placements. In addition of the young people recruited, approximately 67% per cohort are from BAME demographics and 33% are female students. 

Agnes Thoingo completed the LTSB programme and has found it a useful stepping stone to begin an established career. Agnes spoke about the impact LTSB had on her, saying: “I was so happy to be chosen by Leadership through Sport and Business to pursue accounting as well us be trained on leadership skills, interview skills and sports. Through this training, I was able to confidently go through several job interviews and recently, became successful at acquiring an opportunity with RSM as an Analyst in the Technology and Management Consulting department. I am currently enjoying my apprenticeship as I look to grow and progress my career.”

The Foundation is currently recruiting new cohort members for a September 2019 start across three separate programmes:

  • LTSB Programme (accountancy) – 16-21 yrs looking to work in the finance sector.
  • LTSB Digital (pilot) – 16 – 21 yrs looking to work in the digital/tech sector.
  • NatWest Digital (pilot) – 18-22 yrs with pathway into NatWest’s Digital & Innovation Degree Apprenticeship.

The programmes offer participants the chance to work with partners such as Grant Thornton, Rolls Royce, Barclays, Santander, NatWest and many more. It is an amazing alternative to university and one of the best ways into the working world through working and study at the same time.

If you would like to be a part of the new cohort, or would like further information, please contact Ade Otubanjo: