Tech Futures is a new programme developed by the @EY_Foundation to help young people from low income backgrounds into well paid work.

It comes as the Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently identified fast-growing tech firms as key to the UK’s economic development at the inaugural Treasury Connect tech conference.

Reflecting on a year like no other, EY Foundation action, Acting Chief Executive Lynne Peabody said:

“Over the last year we have worked with 272 employers, targeting fast-growing sectors of the economy and launching several new, sector specific programmes. These include Tech Futures, Secure Futures and a partnership with the Chartered Banker Institute.”

“By connecting employers with young people, they are gaining access to diverse future talent which brings different perspectives, leading to better innovation and ultimately better solutions and services. This is very important to us as an organisation and we’ve acted both internally and externally on diversity and inclusion. This included publication of 11 race commitments and our joint report with EY ‘Getting In Getting On’.”

“The pandemic has of course been the other huge focus for us and our young people this year, with all our programmes switching to virtual delivery within weeks of the first lockdown. We quickly commissioned the Learning and Work Institute to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of virtual training, and look forward to sharing the full findings in October.”

The EY Foundation's 2021 Impact Awards celebrate the work of the people and organisations which have enabled the EY Foundation’s success over the past twelve months, including:

Social Entrepreneur of the year - James Adeleke, founder of Generation Success, an award-winning social enterprise that works with 70 employers in the UK and the Republic of Ireland to tackle the social inequalities in society and connect diverse talent to careers.

James says, “I am honoured to have been selected by EY as their Social Entrepreneur of the year. At the time where the world is being challenged by the environment, economy and social tensions, there are so many people who are working day in and day out to make change happen. To be recognised is humbling but I want this award to be a symbol for more young people who like me to be inspired to take action and believe in themselves. I hope more organisations will use their position and resources to take action.”

Young ambassador of the Year - Olivia Agbe

“It is an honour to win Young Ambassador of the year! I have had the privilege of working alongside the EY Foundation staff who have supported me in developing my personal branding and given me a range of opportunities to speak publicly. I would encourage any young person reading this, particularly young people of colour, to apply to the Foundation’s programmes and get involved.”

Mentor of the Year, Neil Whyte, Associate Partner, Health Sciences & Wellness, EY.

Having grown up in a lower income household, it’s a privilege to be a Smart Futures mentor through the EY Foundation. I've taken a huge amount of personal value, particularly when times were difficult for us all during the past 18 months, knowing that I’m playing a vital role in supporting disadvantaged young people get access to opportunities early-on in their career. I’ve been blown away by the young people who come to EYF, in particular their drive and determination to improve their life path, so the opportunity to help them imagine and create a different future is priceless.”

Employer Champions of the Year, Simon Constance – EY Partner; Sue Brooks - Imagine Talent

I am truly delighted to have won one of the EY Foundation’s Employer Champion of the Year awards. This award is for all the socially committed employers that have come together as part of the Hidden Talent Working Group within the IMAGINE Community to do more to ensure all young people can thrive in the new digital economy.

“Automation & Covid-19 are transforming jobs, skills & the future of work creating growing disparities in opportunities for certain working groups in particular young people & especially those already disadvantaged by our cookie-cutter approach to education & careers. They represent an amazing hidden Talent pool to be discovered! These employers are re-imagining their approach to youth & early careers & supporting future skill development & social mobility agendas. Collaboration is playing a vital role in scaling the impact of these initiatives to reach as many young people as possible. It's great to be moving forward together!”

Supporter of the Year, Harry Hawes, Operations Director, UKFS Managed Services, EY.

I would like to accept this Award on behalf of the Newcastle office. We will continue to challenge ourselves to see how we can increase our support for the EY Foundation. We always look to build relationships with like-minded organisations in the area, developing strong collaborative relationships with the likes of Newcastle United Foundation, Northumbria University, and the North East Chamber of Commerce. These wider relationships allow greater leverage and reach and allow us to help even more children.”

And Volunteer of the Year, Max Vaseckis

“Find your purpose and make an impact on young people’s lives in communities every day through amazing EY Foundation projects. Not only will you be able to change people’s lives but will also learn new and develop existing skills.”

Other winners include Employer Partner of the Year – Met Police; Education Partner of the Year - Natasha Woolman: The Virtual College; and Fundraiser of the Year, Kristofer Dowling, Senior Consultant - EY Financial Services Advisory, who is currently hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to raise funds and awareness.

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