Kofi is always happy to talk about his time with LTSB. “My attitude is: ‘When LTSB ask, I’m going to do it’. They made a huge difference.”

Funding from ICAP Charity Day allowed social mobility charity LTSB to prepare and support bright young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into meaningful careers with major firms. Young people like Kofi are often at risk of under-employment, unable to fully realise their ability and ambition.

“I’d never be here without LTSB!” Kofi laughs, now a trainee Business Advisor at BDO. In 2018, he had dropped out of university, unable to adapt to the learning style and culture, and wanting to get started on his career. But getting started can be really difficult.

At LTSB, we run intensive bootcamps that personally and professional develop young people, and then mediate the interview and placement process. We connect talent with opportunity by putting young people with potential in front of decision makers – and firms committed to the best of all backgrounds find an efficient and effective pipeline of talent they would otherwise miss.

“The preparation LTSB provided really helped, and not just the CV workshops or interview practice. It was really practical things like writing emails! I didn’t know that I didn’t know how to write emails until LTSB ran a session on them – now I think about that session every time I’m at my inbox.”

When it came time to actually starting the job, he knew he could make a difference from the first day. “I knew I was ready, but it’s still tough! It was daunting, but I knew what I had to do.”

BDO was the type of firm Kofi had always dreamed of – but he never thought his career could start there. “When I first walked in, I thought: ‘WOW. This is a nice office…” And my first job as well! It’s a great company – family-oriented, friendly, and they really worked to make me feel welcome.”

Those first few months can still be difficult, though, so we support our apprentices for the first year of their career – another vital contribution to ensure young people don’t just get a chance but build a foundation.

“If I ever needed anywhere to turn, I knew LTSB was there. They’d message me and check in, and if I had a problem, I knew they would help me get it sorted. It was a really important safety net.”

And now, firmly established in his career, he is still hungry to show what he can do: “I’m really proud to work here, so I want to impress and progress!”