RBS avoid Cambridge recruitment fair following action.

10 Nov 2008

Could it be that People & Planet graduate recruitment actions are making careers fairs more trouble than they're worth for RBS?

2008 Banner drop over the river

Why aren’t ethics more important at career fairs?

Becky Talmy reports:

On 5 and 6 November, E.On, Shell, BAE, BP, and various other companies lacking anything other than the appearence of a social or environmental conscience, were welcomed with open arms by Cambridge University Careers Service. Cambridge People & Planet and Cambridge Action Network obviously had something to say about this! Security was pretty tight, what with the trouble activism has been giving these companies up and down the country, but we all managed to get in, ask difficult questions, identify ourselves by revealing ‘Leave it in the Ground’ T-shirts at an agreed time and, once we’d been asked to take our leaflets outside, distribute them to elaborate upon our ‘Make a Living, Not a Killing’ banner.

2008 Cambridge students speak to an organiser of the graduate recruitment fair

Activists speak to an organiser of the graduate recruitment fair

When confronted, the head of the careers service was more concerned about meeting the needs of students determined to make money at any cost, by linking them up with companies who share their ‘ideals’, than he was about taking a firm line on which companies Cambridge University endorses. After all, if he were to start thinking about denying climate criminals and human rights abusors easy access to Cambridge graduates, there would hardly be any companies left to encourage people to join!

RBS was notably absent: could it be that previous People & Planet actions have succeeded in making careers fairs more trouble than they’re worth for them? Cambridge People & Planet had made their opinion of RBS known in October, when the bank visited their uni for a careers presentation.

Cambridge People & Planet will continue to fight for Cambridge University’s careers service to take responsibility for the actions of the companies it endorses, and join P&P groups up and down the country in putting pressure on the companies themselves to start putting people and planet before profit!

For more photographs and coverage of this action see Indymedia

RBS Respond

RBS have responded to these People & Planet actions, complaining that their graduate recruitment events were being ‘hijacked’. Graduate recruitment actions are clearly having an impact! They are a really important part of a longer process of engagement with the Royal Bank of Scotland, putting public pressure onto RBS to change its ways. You can read up on People & Planet’s meetings with the bank here.

You can take action now and email the RBS Corporate Responsibility Team. Let them know what you think of their dirty investments!