City College scores financial first with US-style interns

An American-style internship programme is proving a big success at City College Norwich. The college's Business School was the first outside London to offer a UK Careers Academy Foundation programme in Finance.

An American-style internship programme is proving a big success at City College Norwich. The college's Business School was the first outside London to offer a UK Careers Academy Foundation programme in Finance. The 'Academy of Finance' is a Level Three (A-level equivalent) programme that prepares young people for careers in the financial services sector, and the first students to take the course completed their qualifications this summer.

What is special about Academy of Finance is the high level of employer involvement. Every student on the programme undertakes a paid six-week internship with an employer as part of the course, and employers also feed into course delivery in other ways such as performance coaching, mentoring and organising visits. It has the backing of some major names including Citigroup, BP, Canary Wharf and the Norwich and Norfolk Financial Industry Group.

Dan Gregory, 18, from Trowse, is one of the students to complete the first Academy of Finance programme.

"I did my internship with HSBC and it worked very well, I enjoyed it," he said, "I was pretty sure when I came on to the course that this was the career I wanted, and I'm a lot more so now.


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“You get a real insight into the workplace, and I found the mentoring from employers definitely useful."

The Financial Services sector is immensely important to the local economy, accounting for nearly a third of Norwich's workforce. It is a thriving industry and employers are looking for well-qualified and motivated recruits with management potential.

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The Academy of Finance programme has been set up in collaboration with key employers in the sector to offer young people a specialised pathway into financial careers such as banking, building societies and insurance.

Many of the students from the first Academy cohort are now preparing to begin their careers, some of them with the employers where they spent their internships.

Others are looking to progress to another employer-linked qualification offered at the Business School - the Foundation Degree in Financial Services, a UEA validated degree.

Over two years, Academy of Finance students achieve a BTEC National Certificate in Business and Finance, which is equivalent to three A Levels.

It includes a BTEC National Award in Personal and Business Finance, equivalent to one A Level. This is also available as a separate subject, and can be taken alongside other A Levels or other qualifications.

There are still a few places available for the next Academy of Finance programme starting this Autumn.

For further details, contact the college's information centre on 01603 773773.

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