Former Haverstock School and Camden School for Girls pupil Arbnor Beciri was last week awarded the top prize of ‘trainee of the year’ by the City Business Traineeship programme.
The initiative, funded by the City of London Corporation, gives high-performing state school students from the inner-city boroughs surrounding the Square Mile the chance to understand the daily life, skills required and opportunities available at a City Job.
The scheme was initiated in 2010 to enhance social mobility in the UK, where private school graduates disproportionately dominate graduate positions at elite firms.
A recent study conducted by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said that firms were “systematically excluding bright working-class applicants” from their workforce, with 70 per cent of graduate trainees coming from fee-paying and selective schools, despite comprising only 7% and 4% of the UK population respectively.
The paid internships are run by the Brokerage Citylink, an organisation established to foster links between the financial hub and its surrounding communities. This year it provided placements at 20 top City firms, including Société Générale, where Arbnor was placed.
Arbnor’s line manager said that the teenager “displayed clear motivation and exceptional character throughout the process.”
“Schemes like this are so important for young people who don’t have family connections at top firms,” said Arbnor.
“My plan is to go to Nottingham University to study economics and politics, and when I graduate, I’ll be looking for opportunities back in the City.”