We have reached out to BNP Paribas, a long-standing partner of MTL, who we have worked closely with for the past 5 years. BNP Paribas are a French international banking group, recognised as a leading investment bank and financial services provider, and is made up of a huge diversity of different businesses.
In 2016, BNP Paribas sent staff to volunteer at a MTL Suited and Booted event in a school in Fulham, which started this brilliant partnership. Since then, BNP Paribas have worked on a number of initiatives with MTL – from hosting networking sessions for our young adults’ programme, to interview skills training, BNP have provided their much-needed support throughout lockdown and have continued to inspire our young people. In addition to this, they have also been a partner for the UK Social Mobility Awards (SOMOs) and a category champion since the launch of the SOMOs in 2017.
Speaking to Tracey Fuller, the UK Head of CSR, Tara Foy, the UK Sustainability Manager, and Jennifer Staunton, Organisational Programme Manager, we have explored BNP Paribas’ relationship with MTL and our young people:
Why is social mobility important to your organisation and what made you decide to partner with MTL?
“Social mobility is important to BNP Paribas on a number of different levels. Firstly, we’re aligned to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which are the blueprint for peace and prosperity for all people on the planet. One of the goals is SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities, and this goal, and our belief, is that everyone, regardless of their background, should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential and not be excluded for any reason. This means we work hard to make sure we have an inclusive approach at BNP Paribas, not just to recruitment, but to the experience our employees have whilst they work with us.
In addition, we want our impact to go further than just who we employ. We want to be a part of the communities we live and work in, not separate to them, which is why we work with a range of partners and organisations that support young people in our local communities.
We were inspired to work with Making the Leap because of their passion to build the confidence and skills of young people that will help them to be the very best they can be.”
What are the positive outcomes to working with MTL?
“Firstly, we know we are in the very safest of hands working with MTL on Social Mobility. You are a true expert in the field of supporting young people, who are committed to having real impactful programmes with tangible positive outcomes.
We receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from our employees who join any MTL session we run. Our staff feel energised and that they are making a difference to young people by simply giving their time, wisdom, and professional experience. And this benefits us how? Well, our staff ultimately feel like they are “giving back” and being encouraged and supported by BNP Paribas to do that during their working day. It also gives our staff a better appreciation of the challenges young people face
today, and that empathy is key in achieving a more equitable, fairer and inclusive society. Our staff definitely take away as much positive impact from the sessions that we hope the young people do.”
How has working with MTL and our young people changed during lockdown?
“Very quickly in the early days of the pandemic, MTL pivoted and adapted their services to be able to still engage and help young people stay connected. We also quickly adapted our volunteering proposition and reached out to staff who had previously been attending MTL sessions, to encourage virtual volunteering.
Over the course of 2020 and through the early days of the pandemic, we were faced, like many businesses, with a huge adjustment period for our staff, who were adapting to working from home and getting to grips with new ways of working and some technical challenges.
However, towards the end of the year, we saw an increase appetite from staff to want to do something good with their time. We are especially proud to have been able to continue our work with MTL throughout the COVID crisis – we actually think that virtual volunteering has been hugely successful, with more staff located outside of London, being able to join in MTL sessions, from wherever they are in the country.”
What has been your overall experience working with MTL and the young people there and what are you most looking forward to?
“As always, extremely positive. The MTL team always bring high energy and sense of purpose, and as a result, we are always so impressed with the positive young people we engage with through the programme.
We are really excited about reaching more young people through MTL’s different programmes, like their virtual job clinic. We also know that more young people need the help of MTL than ever before, so we are committed to scaling up and preparing more of our staff to be ready to step in and make a difference to a young person’s life.”
If your organisation would like to get involved and explore the fantastic partnership opportunities with Making The Leap, check out our page to see how you can make a positive difference in the lives of our young people: Become a Corporate Partner