A youth team - Lendlease supports Ark Professional Pathways

Find out more about Elephant Park's partnership with Ark Academies. A London Southwark based charity for World Youth Day.

Arts and culture
  • 4 Dec 2019
To mark World Youth Day on the 12th of August we are showcasing how Elephant Park is partnering with Ark Academies in Southwark to help develop students’ skills in three local schools.
What is Ark Professional Pathways?

Ark is an international charity with a UK network of 38 schools that aim to transform lives through education, giving every young person regardless of their background a great education and real choices in life.

Supported by Lendlease and Elephant Park, Ark offers a programme to students that allows key employability skills to develop through visits to workplaces, and access to a valuable professional network. This is the Professional Pathways programme.

The programme is designed to equip students with in-depth knowledge on their chosen subject, business, and to understand the practical application in a real setting that is equivalent to three A-Levels once completed.

Three students from the programme, Lipi Akthar, Superior Iguodala and Serigne Biteye, were invited along to take part in sessions that focused on educational engagement. The sessions focussed on everything from careers advice and guidance to site visits and work-related projects about different departments. Here’s what they had to say of their experience:

  • ‘The opportunity to develop my skills in a real setting allows me to meet people with first-hand knowledge, and I can see how that’s applied in a working environment’ – Superior Iguodala, Business and Economics student
  • ‘We’ve had sessions on budget planning, marketing and events – all areas we can take inspiration from for our future projects’ – Lip Akthar, Business student
  • ‘In our school, some of our teachers are like second parents; the mentorship they offer helps us think for ourselves, and it’s great they allow us opportunities like this to learn outside the box too’ – Serigne Biteye, Business and Law student


For more alumni testimonials, watch Ark’s Professional Pathways panel discussion on Youtube or in the window below:


Eleanor Barnes, the Professional Pathways programme lead, says: ‘Working alongside Lendlease gives my students the opportunity to learn and practice skills that are valued by all employers, but there isn’t necessarily the space or time in lessons. I’ve seen my students’ confidence and professionalism blossom as a result of Lendlease’s support and engagement.’

Construction is an area that all three students acknowledged as a vital for the future growth of London. With every session held, students became clearer about their next steps, being able to identify a role within the built environment as a first choice.

While sessions have had to move online in the wake of Coronavirus restrictions, Ark’s website Ark Online outlines the great work that has been done to ensure the development of Ark Academies’ students. For example, after a parent survey revealed that less than half of pupils already had a suitable device for home learning, the delivery of 12,000 e-learning devices to the 38 schools in the network was successfully put into action. Read more about it here.

Lendlease continues to support and fund the great work done by Ark and look forward to plans to deliver sessions again soon.