28 Mar 2018

Social Mobility Pledge to smash the ‘class ceiling’

The Harrison Centre for Social Mobility (HCSM) has launched a national campaign in Parliament to drive up opportunity and social mobility.


We have partnered with The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, the former Secretary of State for Education, who announced the Social Mobility Pledge for business and employers in a Parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall on Wednesday morning, 28th March 2018.


The Social Mobility Pledge asks businesses and employers to commit to three steps: Firstly, partnering with schools, secondly, giving access to apprenticeships or work experience opportunities to disadvantaged young people and thirdly, having open recruitment practices that promote a level playing field for candidates, such as name blind recruitment or contextual recruitment.


In the debate, which attracted cross-party support, Ms Greening said: “For our country, Brexit has to be a catalyst, a moment for change, when we can smash that class ceiling on opportunity once and for all, for a new generation of young people growing up in our country.


“I think that business is part of the solution on developing potential and giving opportunity, not part of the problem, which is why I’m asking businesses, large and small, to commit to a universal Social Mobility Pledge. It’s about three things – Partnership with schools, Access to work experience or apprenticeships and Recruitment practices that are open.


“Unless we collectively have a nationwide effort on social mobility, we’ll just keep the status quo, but I went into politics because I think that people change things. I’d like MPs to work across the House to make a difference on social mobility in our local communities. I think we should work cross party to galvanise British business, because when Parliament speaks with one voice, business listens.”


The pledge is backed by major employers such as BT, Aviva, Adidas, ITV, Clifford Chance, KPMG and others.


The British Chambers of Commerce has had all its 53 accredited chambers commit to the pledge and is encouraging its 75,000 members to commit to the Social Mobility Pledge.


The Federation of Small Business is also supporting the Social Mobility Pledge and is asking its 170,000 members to sign up.


Harrison Centre founder David Harrison said: “Social mobility is not just about what the state can do. It exists in businesses throughout the country. Growing those opportunities and connecting them with local communities is key and that’s why the Social Mobility Pledge is so important.


“We need to step up our approach to social mobility in this country, by replacing limited prospects with training towards better paying and more skilled jobs as well as encouraging entrepreneurialism.”


A recording of the debate can be viewed here https://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/98550d1b-7954-452e-9bb8-fb6e24f8a5be