Forty five young people set out to prove that Croydon has talent by handing in CVs on mass to the Allianz Global Assistance UK's George Street HQ near East Croydon station. The 16-19 year old leaders, from community organising charity Croydon Citizens, part of national charity Citizens UK, aimed to prove that young people in Croydon have the skills and potential to work in London’s top companies by showcasing their achievements.
The move comes as global insurance company Allianz are rumoured to be leaving Croydon as their lease comes to an end and they expressed doubts about the employability of Croydon’s young people at a recent skills and work experience summit hosted by Croydon Citizens.
Pius Ofori, Student President of Coulsdon College said:
“We know Allianz might be leaving Croydon and they have questioned the talent of our young people. We just want to say to Allianz that we hope you stay and want send a clear message that Croydon’s young people have the potential and talent to excel in your work force. We just need a chance to prove ourselves to you.”
As well as showcasing their talent, the students, from Coulsdon and Croydon colleges, also wanted to raise the profile of Croydon Citizen’s youth employability project FirstStepCroydon. The project seeks to work with local employers and the council to ensure that young people in Croydon have the work experience and employability training to succeed in the job market.
As part of FirstStepCroydon 14 employers have committed to investing in Croydon’s young people. The council and Croydon BID have each pledged to organise 50 work experience placements and other companies such as tech leader DotMailer have pledged to undertake skills training such as programming and interview sessions.
Abdul Jelloh Jelloh from Croydon College said:
“This is an exciting time for business in Croydon. We welcome all employers in the borough, from small businesses to global leaders, to join FirstStepCroydon and work with us to invest in our young people.
“It’s a tough job market out there, and it’s particularly hard if people believe the negative stereotypes about Croydon – especially after the riots. That’s why we want businesses to work with schools, colleges and young people to help us take that First Step to employment and we hope that Allianz will be at the forefront of this.”
Speaking to the Croydon Advertiser following the action, Allianz Global Assistance CEO Serge Corel said:
"FirstStepCroydon and Croydon Citizens should be applauded for taking the initiative in working to create prospects for the youth in the local area.
"We are going to be in touch with their representatives very soon to discuss ways in which we might be able to work together."