A flagship Co-operation Ireland youth programme run in partnership with banking giant Morgan Stanley celebrated its tenth anniversary in the City of London in May.

‘Banking on the Future’ brings students from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and London together for two days in Canary Wharf where they are given a unique insight into the workings of the bank.

The aim of the student diversity programme is to bring young people from both sides of the community in Ireland together with London delegates from various ethnic backgrounds.

The agenda is jam-packed with activities covering diversity, team-building, project management and networking. Almost 250 students have taken part over ten years.

Students who have participated in previous editions say the unique bonding experience builds confidence, improves communication, and generally broadens the career-interest horizons of all those taking part. It also encourages people to work together and to understand and appreciate their differences.

This year, outside of Morgan Stanley, the participants visited Buckingham Palace and Bloomberg, the financial software, data and media company.

To mark a decade of the programme, alumnus Aaron Murphy, who now works in the financial sector, told the young people taking part had transformed his horizons.

“’Banking on the Future’ changed my life,” said Murphy. “Before I went on this project, I had dropped out of school after my Junior Cert with the attitude I would not be returning.

“But my attitude changed when I took part in ‘Banking on the Future’. I returned to Dublin and decided to go back to school to complete my Leaving Cert, and then went on to college to study business and finance.” Murphy graduated with a Level 8 BA Honours in Accounting from National College of Ireland in 2017.

“I now work in finance,” he added,“ and I put that down to ‘Banking on the Future’ and the encouragement I got from Morgan Stanley and Co-operation Ireland.”

Co-operation Ireland Chairman and entrepreneur Dr Christopher Moran delivered the keynote address at the end of the two-day programme. He congratulated both Co-operation Ireland and Net Éire, Morgan Stanley’s Irish employees networking group, on their efforts to promote the next generation of leaders and to broaden the horizons of young people who may not be considering employment in the financial services industry.

“Co-operation Ireland is working to strengthen relationships in three areas – Between London and Dublin, Dublin and Belfast, and between communities within Northern Ireland - and there is no programme that better reflects our ambitions than Banking on the Future.

“I was honoured to address the young people who took part and would like to commend them on the presentations they made.

“Over the last decade Banking on the Future has established itself as one of the most innovative youth programmes in Europe and I wish to thank Morgan Stanley and Net Éire for their continuing support. I look forward to the next ten years.”

Net Éire is jointly coordinated by Morgan Stanley employees Caroline McLaughlin and William Daly who work with Co-operation Ireland programme managers Corinna Crooks and Dr Alan Largey on delivering the event.

Crooks praised the outcome of the 2019 event.

“We are proud to operate this programme in connection with Morgan Stanley and Net Éire and to mark a decade of partnership is a brilliant achievement.

“The impact Banking on the Future has on the young people who come along is hard to overestimate and we look forward to the next ten years.”