Working with young people in our local communities
Taking place once a year, World Youth Skills Day highlights how important it is to provide young people with skills and opportunities for their future careers. At the CPS, we’re committed to encouraging young people to consider a career in law and helping them gain the skills and experience to succeed.
To mark World Youth Skills Day, we’re sharing just some of the ways we’ve been working with young people in local communities to promote social mobility and careers in the criminal justice system.
Although we haven’t run programmes in person during the pandemic, over the past year we’ve hosted virtual events for university and secondary school students across England and Wales.
NBCPA: Virtual Work Experience Programme
The National Black Crown Prosecution Association (NBCPA) is a CPS staff network providing support and guidance for Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues in the CPS and wider criminal justice system.
The NBCPA Virtual Work Experience Programme, which was organised in partnership with the mentoring charity Urban Synergy, allowed participants to experience three days in the working life of a new CPS lawyer. They learned about the CPS’ approach to prosecuting offences, undertook examples of real-life legal work and case preparation, and observed criminal court proceedings. Guest speakers also shared their experiences in the law profession giving advice on how they overcame challenges how they got into their careers.
Over the three days, participants gained unique insight and experience of working in CPS and developed skills to support their future careers in the legal sector and help them reach their potential.
Sutton Trust Pathways to Law Programme
CPS Areas East Midlands and Mersey Cheshire run work experience programmes - in partnership with the national social mobility charity Sutton Trust and local universities - aimed at helping students develop skills for their future careers.
In February this year - due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic - CPS East Midlands delivered their work experience programme online for the first time. Students from the Sutton Trust’s Pathways to Law programme spent five-days gaining unique insight into working in the criminal justice system. They took part in mock legal work, mock trials, interviews with CPS and other CJS staff as well as observing live court proceedings. Students who took part in the programme told us that they found it helped them to develop their skills and gain a better understanding of the legal sector.
Ben Toleman, Pathways to Law Co-ordinator for the University of Liverpool, said:
“The Outreach team at The University of Liverpool and the CPS have established an excellent working relationship where we are able to provide young people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to discover further information about careers within the legal sector. Giving our students the opportunity to engage with staff and legal practitioners within the CPS has been incredibly valuable to the Pathways to Law access programme we run at Liverpool. Having access to Prosecutors, Barristers and Court rooms has allowed our students to make positive decisions about their future and has encouraged them to pursue a career within the legal sector.”
CPS West Midlands
CPS West Midlands has rolled out a digital work experience programme to universities in the area which has reached 365 students between November 2020 to May 2021.
In a two-hour virtual career session, the students were given information on different roles within the CPS and tips on applying for jobs, before putting their questions to District Crown Prosecutors Iain Willis and Jason Corden-Bowen.
Jason says: “It was really inspiring to see so many young students from different universities interested in broadening their knowledge of the criminal justice system and asking really probing and intelligent questions about the work we do and opportunities available.”
For further information on early career opportunities at the CPS, please visit our Careers at the CPS webpage.