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London First and FreshMinds Talent launch diversity initiative

London First and recruitment consultancy FreshMinds Talent today launched a new scheme designed to introduce a diverse range of star students from London’s universities to leading graduate employers.

Leading London ( uses a student and tutor nominated survey to identify final year undergraduates with outstanding business potential. Nominees are invited to apply and are subject to a selection process.  The successful candidates will then have the opportunity to meet top employers including Credit Suisse, KPMG, Lloyds TSB and BT, as well as receiving CV advice and interview coaching from FreshMinds Talent.

The Leading London pilot scheme began at London Metropolitan University in January, with more than 150 outstanding prospects at the university identified. This long list will be whittled down to just a few dozen of the best students in London. The scheme gives students from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to make an impression on some of the UK’s leading employers as well as providing them with a network of like-minded and ambitious peers.

Leading London is already active on campus at London Metropolitan University, represented at the Student Activities Fair and Get Ahead Conference as well as through a series of CV and job application workshops, open to all students. Subject to the success of the pilot, plans are in place to roll the scheme out in other post-1992 universities across London in 2010.

The scheme has also earned support from Lord Karan Bilimoria, founder of Cobra Beer and an alumnus of London Metropolitan University. Lord Bilimoria is a well-known role model for students from diverse backgrounds in the UK having become the first ever Parsi in the House of Lords in 2006. He is an active stakeholder in education in the capital in his role as Chancellor of Thames Valley University.

Lord Bilimoria said: “London is unparalleled in its diversity and our students are exceptional in their talent.  I have always said that ‘inspiration leads to aspiration and aspiration leads to achievement’. Leading London provides a fantastic opportunity for the most inspirational students in the capital to excel as future leaders in the world of business.”

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of London First, said:
“Despite news of doom and gloom in the economy, Leading London provides a positive message to students about the opportunities available to them after graduating.”


About London First
London First is a business membership organisation whose mission is to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure
London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes all of London’s higher education institutions as well as further education colleges and NHS hospital trusts. London First members represent a quarter of London’s GDP.

About FreshMinds Talent
FreshMinds Talent is the recruitment arm of the FreshMinds group, a research and recruitment consultancy founded in 2000 by Charlie Osmond and Caroline Plumb. FreshMinds Talent works with companies to source outstanding executive, graduate and interim talent from the top 2% of candidates in the UK. In 2008, FreshMinds were the London regional winners of the £35 Million Bank of Scotland Corporate Entrepreneur Challenge, while FreshMinds’ research arm were named agency of the year at the 2006 and 2007 Research Excellence and Effectiveness Awards.

About London Metropolitan University
London Metropolitan University is one of the foremost providers of undergraduate, postgraduate, professional and vocational education and training in Britain.

Last year over two thirds its research submitted to the RAE was judged to be ‘internationally recognised’, ‘internationally excellent’ or ‘world-leading’. With over 34,000 students London Met is the capital’s largest unitary university. Its diverse student body includes nearly 8,000 international students from 155 countries.

The University is committed to social justice, equal opportunities and community involvement, and provides excellent educational and knowledge transfer services enabling students to achieve their potential.

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