Access to success
359. David Meller
358. Jenny Halpern Prince
The founder and chairman of Access Aspiration charity, which creates invaluable work experience for young people.
The charity has placed over 800 students in work experience, from state schools with high uptake of free school meals. They hold career events, interview training and employability and confidence workshops for over 3,800 students. Access has persuaded employers to get involved by not only offering placements but volunteering to speak in schools, sit in mock interviews and support students in a more holistic way, to open doors.
Jenny, who is also CEO and founder of a successful consumer PR agency, founded Access in 2012. She was inspired to set up the charity having obtained valuable work experience through family contacts after her education. Recognising her own luck and the struggles of those less well-connected, Jenny decided to play her part in breaking down the barriers some students face and providing placements relevant to their career goals, through her wide network of contacts.
Access aims to improve social mobility and improve the employability of 16-18 year olds by broadening young people’s understanding of the workplace. David and Jenny realised they shared a common goal to make a difference within schools to open up opportunities, David’s experience and passion for education complementing Jenny’s skills, not only in the invisible career opportunities but also in the invisible career options too. David is also chair of Mellar Education Trust, and together they have ensured Access has grown quickly. Today around 130 businesses offer work placements through Access, with students from 25 schools, academies, and youth charities.
Access also hold career events (including career “speed dating” with industry professionals) and interview training and confidence workshops for over 2,500 students so far.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron said:
“Thanks to Jenny and David’s vision for equal opportunities for young people regardless of their background, hundreds of young Londoners have benefited from valuable experiences in the capital’s best workplaces. They have given so many young people the chance to learn more about the careers they could pursue whilst helping them to improve their skills. I’m delighted to recognise their service with Points of Light awards.”
Commenting on the award, Jenny said:
“I am honoured to receive an award which reflects the work we have doing to make a difference in social mobility.”
David said: “I believe that education and good routes into work are essential for our young people:”