Leading UK businesses and business groups today backed a commitment to help improve social mobility for young people in the Government’s 12 Opportunity Areas, which include Ipswich and Norwich.
Under plans announced today, more than 40 national and local ‘cornerstone’ employers will work with The Careers & Enterprise Company to make a collective commitment to work with more than 260 secondary schools and colleges in the Opportunity Areas to help inspire and prepare their pupils for the fast-changing world of work. Employers include Adecco, Butlins, KPMG, Michelin, Mantra Media, NatWest, PwC and Rolls Royce.
The announcement comes as Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening highlighted the need for businesses to support social mobility in her speech at the Sutton Trust this morning.
All 40+ businesses and business bodies have committed to work together, with the support of a £2m government-backed fund, to guarantee that in each of the Opportunity Areas:
All pupils aged 11-18 will have access to at least four inspiring ‘encounters’ with the world of work. This follows research which shows that young people who have 4 or more workplace encounters while at school are 86% less likely to be NEET and on average will go on to earn 18% more than their peers who did not.
All 260+ secondary schools and colleges will have access to a local senior business volunteer (Enterprise Adviser) who will work with headteachers and college principals to unlock local business relationships and advise on their careers programme.
The business commitment is backed by leading business representative bodies, such as the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), who will work with The Careers & Enterprise Company to encourage their business members to offer more young people opportunities to engage employers across a wide spectrum of business sectors through activities such as mentoring, work experience, mock interviews and career talks.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Institute of Directors (IOD), the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA), local Chambers of Commerce and Local Enterprise Partnerships are also playing a key role in working with The Careers & Enterprise Company to support young people in the Opportunity Areas.