Career Ready

Career Ready is a UK wide charity linking employers with more than 200 schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people. Career Ready provides thousands of children from lower income families the opportunity to access mentorship programmes, skills workshops and work experience nationally.


A rebranding and discovery phase, providing a new name, Career Ready, and a new visual identity
Introduction of a new digital strategy, the crafting of a new website and an ambitious online volunteer management system
A scalable website platform which will deliver their programmes as smoothly and efficiently as possible for both students and employers

The challenge


Career Ready’s ambitious growth objectives could not be realised without first reducing the level of admin required to run the national programme. As well as needing a digital platform to attract, on-board and match employers, volunteers and schools, they also urgently needed a digital service with the features, information and tools necessary for all stakeholders to manage and evaluate the programme.

The solution

With a detailed business systems and workflow analysis in hand, IE GDS began a discovery phase, honing an iterative digital strategy to simplify the process, aligned with an Agile development approach. We implemented a new, scalable, digital service platform that enables Career Ready to deliver their programmes smoothly and efficiently.

IE GDS developed an automated process for volunteer registration and communications, reducing the average admin overhead per applicant by 80%. A personalised, automated email engagement programme drives improved communications to volunteers to keep them warm, while Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are carried out.


Subsequent phases included:

  • Third party integration with Salesforce CRM student registration system to capture details of student qualifications and interests. These are logged in Salesforce and shared with regional managers and school coordinators to track the status of students throughout recruitment and on-boarding.
  • Additional functionality for managing student registrations, matching students with volunteer mentors, managing internships and reporting on the impacts of the programme. Simple user guides and online training tools have been provided to all stakeholders throughout the development to facilitate the change and key supporters were involved at every stage.
  • Additional functionality to match students with appropriate mentors based on location and specialisms and to facilitate the efficient booking of interviews. Those with responsibility for running the programme locally are informed of progress and any actions required.


80% reduction in admin overhead per applicant. 247% increase in the number of volunteer registrations
Extensive impact and engagement reports on volunteers and students strengthens relationships with employers and schools
Shortlisted for Charity Times Award 2016 in "Best use of the web" category
Career Ready now has a website that proudly promotes its achievements and impact as a leader in the employer engagement field, and an operating platform on which to grow. The web-based system saves both the charity and schools from complex and costly admin. This in turn has meant we have been able to reduce costs for budget-stretched schools, and reach more young people than before.
ANNE SPACKMAN, Chief Executive