News story

Young Londoners Sample Life as a Treasury Official

"There’s no better way to back young people’s futures than to offer them a chance to learn more about the opportunities available to them," said Permanent Secretary, Tom Scholar.

Photo: London Youth/Talent Match

A group of London teens were given a chance to sample life at the heart of government this week, as the Treasury threw open its doors to encourage people from all backgrounds to consider a career in government.

The Youth Outreach programme, run by the Treasury and youth charity London Youth, brought together 15 teenagers, from diverse backgrounds, to gain employability skills, experience of the working world and a unique perspective on life at the Treasury.

Following the success of previous years, Whitehall departments joined forces this year to offer up their collective expertise for the four day programme. Activities included private tours of Parliament and No. 10 and an International Crisis workshop run with the Ministry of Defence.

It wouldn’t have been a Treasury programme without a meet-and-greet with Gladstone, the Treasury’s resident mouser.

Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Tom Scholar, also sat in the hot seat answering questions on how EU negotiations were going, and how he separated his political views from his civil service duties. Other Treasury officials offered one-to-one career mentoring.

Now in its third year, the programme has already been a springboard into the civil service for a former participant, who was able to secure a full-time one year apprenticeship at the Treasury following his completion of the programme.

Molly Forbes, a participant this year, said:

I liked talking to the permanent secretary, because we got to ask him our own questions. He said he used to be a musician when he was younger – I didn’t realise musicians became civil servants.

Permanent Secretary to the Treasury, Tom Scholar, said:

There’s no better way to back young people’s futures than to offer them a chance to learn more about the opportunities available to them. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to open the Treasury’s doors to such dynamic, engaged young people – indeed, possibly the next generation of civil servants.

Matt Dronfield, London Youth Employer Engagement Manager said:

We are really excited to be working again with the Treasury on this pioneering opportunity, which we hope will break down barriers and misconceptions about working in government. Many of the young people we work with in our member clubs, walk pass these institutions everyday but do not have any ideas about the variety of roles within the civil service nor the entry requirements for them.

A lack of understanding of the working world is a significant barrier to young people finding and keeping employment. Without the opportunity to explore and try out different career options many young people will simply miss out on the opportunities available to them. We call on other employers to follow the lead of the Treasury.

Further Information

  • London Youth supports and challenges young people to become the best they can be through hundreds of diverse community youth organisations and two residential centres. They serve over 25,000 children and young people each year, and reach tens of thousands more through their membership network

  • the Ministry of Defence provided a role-playing session where participants respond to a humanitarian crisis and delivering a press conference. This is a session designed by the Ministry of Defence Education Programme

  • the Treasury Youth Outreach Programme has run for three years consecutively, and has always run in partnership with London Youth

  • this year, fifteen students took part

Published 28 October 2016