3 Dec 2019

Harrison Centre renews partnership with Beacon of Light

Hundreds more young people on Wearside will have the opportunity to learn crucial education and employability skills, after the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility renewed its partnership with the Beacon of Light.


The Harrison Centre works with hundreds of young people at the Beacon to provide the tuition and training they need to help them grow in confidence and secure a job.


The continued partnership means the Harrison Centre has invested over £150,000 in the Beacon of Light, which is focused on improving the north-east standard of living.


The Harrison Centre opened its learning centre at the Beacon in Sunderland in 2018. In its first year 647 young people aged 13 and over took part in courses providing essential skills in ICT/Digital, Maths and English, Personal and Social Development and Business & Enterprise.


Across all the courses delivered at the Harrison Centre over the last 12 months, 73% of participants progressed into further education, employment or training.


Meanwhile 100% achieved qualifications with a 98% pass rate in maths and English.


The Harrison Centre for Social Mobility was founded by entrepreneur David Harrison in 2017 with a belief that no one should be held back by background or upbringing. The Centre works with organisations that support disadvantaged people into employment.


In total, almost £600,000 has been donated to social mobility causes across the UK by the Harrison Centre since it was founded.


David Harrison said: “We are delighted to continue working with the Beacon of Light, which as the results show, makes a huge difference to young people’s chances of getting into work and making the most of their talents. I am particularly impressed by the levels of success in achieving qualifications and progressing into further education, training and employment which is exactly what we wanted to achieve. The credit must go to the outstanding staff and learners at the Beacon. It’s a pleasure to work with them and I’m looking forward to more great results in 2020.”


Lesley Spuhler OBE, CEO of Foundation of Light added: “With the ongoing support of the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, the Foundation of Light will once again be able to continue the development of these bespoke employability programmes. Much can be achieved together with a long-term view, creating a sustainable portfolio of programmes to support our young people to do more and be more.


“With a combination of our Enterprise, Back on Track, Back in the Game and the Harrison Prize programme, we will be able to continue to deliver programmes through the Harrison Centre and to grow on this year’s success.”


After setting up the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, David Harrison co-founded the national Social Mobility Pledge, alongside former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening.


The Pledge asks businesses to commit to working with local schools, offering apprenticeships and adopting fair recruitment policies, such as name-blind or contextual recruitment.


Since it was launched, 400 businesses across the UK employing three million people have signed the Social Mobility Pledge. One of the first companies to sign the Pledge was David Harrison’s financial technology business, True Potential, based in Newcastle.