As part of our strategy and purpose to champion the potential of young people, we’ve launched a new programme, CareerSense, to support 13-24-year olds with readiness for work, aiming to reach over 10,000 young people this year.

Through feedback from partners, teachers and those in early careers, we recognise that many young people enter the world of work unprepared for its challenges; young people may find it difficult to access quality careers information and guidance, practical industry experiences and relatable role models, too often resulting in unemployment or underemployment.

Recent research conducted in partnership with the Centre for Social Justice1 found that young people feel there is a lack of support around jobs, work experience, skills and training with 85% of 18-34 year olds feeling they couldn't get advice on opportunities and business ideas in their local area. Publicly available research also shows that young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are twice as likely to be out of education and employment than their wealthier peers2 and black youth unemployment has hit a rate of 40%3. Forecasts show that the cost of youth unemployment could rise to £6.9 billion in 20224.

How CareerSense can support

CareerSense will provide free access to a range of employability resources and tools and harness the skills and experience of our colleagues at NatWest Group to support the future workforce. CareerSense will empower young people to understand their innate capabilities and to recognise key skills required in the future world of work.


Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group, said:

“At NatWest Group, we believe that embarking on a journey in pursuit of a dream should be an exciting experience for any young person. However, today, far too many 13-24-year-olds struggle to find their way successfully.

"As a significant employer in the UK, and a bank for young people, parents and carers alike, we have a key role to play in supporting and inspiring future generations to develop their skills, experience and employability, and ultimately to achieve their goals. We hold knowledge and resources that can be difficult for young people to access outside the world of work and we recognise these can help to prepare the workforce of the future - especially those from different socio-economic backgrounds”.


We’ll make a range of employability content for young people, teachers and parents/carers available through a new CareerSense website (mycareersense.com).

  • This will include a ‘Find Your Potential’ tool to assess capabilities, technical and essential skills which provides a personalised report and free access to a range of learning resources in the NatWest Learning Academy.
  • The tool will also present potential career routes based on these capabilities and the individual’s identified values. 
  • The online tools and resources will be supported by skills workshops for high schools (200 schools to be reached this year) co-created with our partner We Are Futures, as well as insight weeks that are supported by our social mobility partners, The Sutton Trust, Career Ready and Social Mobility Foundation.
  • We’re also sponsoring 1,000 16-18-year olds through the Ivy House Award.

CareerSense will be launched initially to 13-20 year olds and will expand to age 24 later this year. We will also create a focused programme that supports NEETs (Not in Employment, Education or Training) to provide tailored and more in-depth employability support where it is needed most.


Elke Edwards, Founder & Creative Director, Ivy House London, said:

“There has never been a greater need to help young people. They need radical support – practical, emotional, action-orientated support that will enable them to come out of this challenging time stronger than ever. What NatWest are doing through CareerSense has the opportunity to be game-changing.” 


 James Turner, CEO of the Sutton Trust, said:

"Big employers like NatWest play a vital role in championing social mobility by supporting young people to make informed decisions about their future. We’re delighted to be partnering with NatWest through our Pathways to Banking and Finance programme. The insight they provide to Sutton Trust students is invaluable in supporting their decisions about future careers, as well as breaking down barriers to access the sector. The launch of the CareerSense platform highlights their commitment to young people and will enable more students across the country to access this type of support."

In a video to NatWest Group colleagues, Founder & Creative Director of Ivy House London Elke Edwards explains the impact that programmes like CareerSense can have on young people’s lives.

  1. https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/library/pillars-of-community-why-communities-matter-and-what-matters-to-them
  2.  The long-term NEET population, Impetus PEF, 2019
  3.  Population Census 2021, Office for National Statistics, https://www.ons.gov.uk/ 
  4. Learning and Work Institute (2021), Facing the future - employment prospects for young people after Coronavirus, https://learningandwork.org.uk/news-and-policy/prolonged-youth-jobs-crisis-is-set-to-cost-uk-economy-almost-7-billion-next-year/
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