A leading Suffolk business has become a ‘Cornerstone Employer’, working with other employers to develop employability and skills in schools and colleges.
Financial services group Scrutton Bland will be working with The Careers & Enterprise Company and the New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network to provide young people in the Ipswich Opportunity Area with better access to employers and the vital experiences of the world of work they need to 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. Scrutton Bland, along with 10 other local organisations, has committed its support to make this happen.
Sue Gull, Corporate Services Partner, said: “It was our centenary in 2019, so it is fitting that we partner with New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network in a local initiative which aims to develop a range of skills in the next generation, whether that is traditional business knowledge, or confidence and resilience in the workplace.”
Caroline Cotterell, HR Director, said: “It sounds like a cliché, but young people really are our future, and it’s in everyone’s interests to help them reach their potential. This partnership with New Anglia Enterprise Adviser Network builds on the work we currently do with students in schools and colleges and will give them a real taste of working in the financial services sector.”
Jordan Holder, Enterprise Coordinator at New Anglia LEP, added: “We are thrilled to announce Scrutton Bland 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.
“Scrutton Bland has already committed to supporting our ‘Enterprise Adviser’ network with staff volunteering their time to work with local schools. I’m keen for young people to learn about the opportunities of working in the financial sector and the vast array of exciting and aspirational roles available locally.”