The Worshipful Company of International Bankers has links with a number of state secondary schools in London. Each school we work with has a relationship manager from our membership who facilitates and coordinates the Company's response to requests from the schools for example careers talks, business challenges, lectures etc.
We work with a number of partner charities in delivering certain of the programmes we are involved with. We have a longstanding relationship with the Brokerage Citylink and, for example, currently fund their Gateway to City Careers programme and support it by providing speakers. In 2020 the Company responded to a 2019 article in the Economist (which attributed some of the success of public school students with familiarity with debating) and with Debate Mate and the Southwark Schools Learning Partnership organised debating clubs and training for a number of state schools in South London. Our members have also provided mentoring to teams from our relationship schools which have entered the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies' Sheriffs' Challenge.
The Company also runs an annual competition for London state schools in conjunction with one of our partner charities. This competition supports raising aspirations for young people in London as they consider their next step to university or other career path. Students in years 12 and 13 at London schools and colleges (collectively “schools”) are invited to submit a 1000 word article, sometimes in the style of a newspaper feature, providing a balanced view on a topic chosen by the WCIB. The winning entry of a recent competition was sent to the then Chancellor, George Osborne, who commended the Company for its work in this area.
For a number of schools, our annual competition has become a regular feature of their autumn term. The number of schools participating varies from year to year but is typically around 20. Each school is asked to choose its own winner and runner-up and submit the winner’s entry to the WCIB judging panel, which selects an overall winner and runner-up.
In 2020, in response to the coronavirus situation, we digitalised some of our lectures and careers talks to make them more accessible and also encouraged our members to volunteer to mentor some of the Gateway students.