A leading law firm has become a ‘Cornerstone Employer’, working with other employers to develop employability and skills in schools and colleges in Ipswich.
Birketts, working with The Careers & Enterprise Company and the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network, will provide young people in the Ipswich Opportunity Area with access to meaningful engagement with their employees and will help to provide the vital work encounters they need to help them make informed choices about their futures.
In 2017, Ipswich ranked 292 out of the 324 local authority areas included in a nationwide ‘Social Mobility Index’. The index assessed the chances that a disadvantaged child (measured by eligibility for free school meals) will perform well and get a job.
As a result, the town was selected as one of 12 Opportunity Areas in England to receive an equal share of a £72 million funding pot to deliver plans that will help build the knowledge and skills of local young people and provide them with the best advice and opportunities to progress.
Part of the programme will focus on greater collaboration to bridge the gap between education and employers.
Birketts, along with 10 other local organisations, has committed its support to make this happen.
Jonathan Agar, Birketts’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “In a year of record growth for Birketts, we are proud to have the chance to give back by becoming a ‘Cornerstone Employer’. By working with the wider business community to boost social mobility and inspire disadvantaged students, we are pleased to be able to give bright youngsters the opportunities they deserve. This unique opportunity for collaboration between local employers and schools makes the most of Suffolk’s business networks, using them to guide and support the next generation in to work, and nurturing home-grown talent to help lift the local economy.”
Shaun Savory, Birketts’ HR Director, said: “Birketts is proud to play its part in developing employability opportunities for young people in Ipswich. Recruitment is essential to the continued success of the business community and work experience opportunities like this are mutually beneficial, helping college age students to build the knowledge and skills that will help them secure employment, and introducing a new generation of talent into the workplace. The firm remains committed to boosting community engagement and is proud to be an ambassador for social mobility.”
Jordan Holder, Enterprise Coordinator at New Anglia LEP, added: “We are delighted to announce Birketts as one of our Ipswich Cornerstone Employers who will work as ambassadors for social mobility to help increase the number of meaningful encounters local young people have with the world of work.
Law is a growing sector in the town and an area up until recently we have lacked representation on. Birketts have joined us to change that and ensure any young person, regardless of background can have an exciting and varied role with a top 100 UK Law firm, right on their doorstep”.