Social Mobility in UK Businesses – a Digest

Apr 6, 2021

The past month has been an important time for social mobility in the UK, as many social mobility advocates and leading organisations have published a vast amount of significant research which gives us insight into the work being done for social mobility in UK businesses. 

This blog piece features just some of the important developments that have been taking place around social mobility during this time: 


The City of London Corporation – Social-economic Diversity Taskforce: 

The City of London Corporation have been commissioned by HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Energy & Industry Strategy to lead a new independent taskforce to tackle limits to socio-economic diversity across UK Financial and Professional Services. 

This taskforce, which is the first of its kind, will aim to provide support to organisations within this industry who want to diversify their recruitment processes in order to access a wider talent pool and make a real difference in society. 

Find out more about the taskforce here. 


Learning and Work Institute – Digital Skills Gap Report 

The Learning and Work Institute, in partnership with Work Skills UK and Enginuity, have recently published new research which highlights that there has been an increase to the digital skills gap, despite these skills being imperative in today’s workforce. The research showcases that the rate in which employers are investing in upskilling employees has declined over the yearsyet there are still high demands from employers as “over 9 in 10 (92%) of businesses say that having a basic level of digital skills is important for employees at their organisation.” 

Another factor that is impacting the widening gap is digital poverty, which has made clear throughout the pandemic, many households throughout the UK have experienced barriers to accessing appropriate resources. The report makes this clear, as it states, digital poverty is particularly prevalent among those from lower socio-economic groups, where (…) over one in twenty (6%) young people have no access to the internet. This impactful piece of research illustrates how the efforts being made in the social mobility movement are necessary for not only our economy, but also the livelihoods of the next generation of workers. 

To find out more, read the full report here. 


Princes Trust  Facing the future: employment prospects for young people after coronavirus: 

A new report from the Princes Trust, in association with HSBC and Learning and Work Institute, predicts a bleak outcome for Youth Unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the years to come. Findings suggest that “the economic cost of youth unemployment, in terms of lost national output, is forecast to rise to £6.9 billion in 2022”a damning statistic further reported to “exacerbate pre-existing inequalities.” These young people will unfortunately “bear the brunt of the unemployment crisis”, something that will inevitably create even more obstacles to accessing opportunities into employment. 

This report then concludes with necessary recommendations on reducing the ramifications that these young people, and our economy, may faceemphasising the depth of work that is still to be done. 

Click here to read more. 


Social Mobility Commission  Barometer 2021 / Drivers of Course Selection Report:

This month, the Social Mobility Commission has not only launched the Social Mobility Barometer 2021, but also recently published a new report about how disadvantaged young people are met with unfair wage gaps that are influenced by post-16 education choices. 

The Social Mobility Barometer 2021 highlights the challenges facing the UK as it reveals the public opinion that social inequalities have increased due to the COVID-19 pandemicwith “79% of adults across all regions say(ing) there is a large gap between social classes in Britain today.” This research proves how that now, more than ever, it is a crucial time to be involved in the conversations that are taking place around social mobility and Diversity and Inclusion, and how best to advance social mobility in UK businesses. 

Read the Barometer 2021 here. 

The Commission also published their ‘Drivers of Course Selection’ report, which identifies the impact that post-16 education choices can have on a person’s career, which in turn pushes the need to ensure that all young people have access to better guidance and career advice from a young age. 

To read the full report, click here. 


The UK Social Mobility Awards 2021: 

There are many exciting things happening this month for #SOMO2021 

There is just under 3 weeks until the Social Mobility Business Seminar, with new speaker Alderman Vincent Kearney recently being announced, we are looking forward to the brilliant event where we will be joined by some of the leading champions of social mobility in UK businesses.   

Make sure to register to the event now: Social Mobility Business Seminar 

There is also just over 3 weeks left until the nominations open for the UK Social Mobility Awards 2021. Start thinking about your entries now! If your organisation has done anything to advance social mobility between 1st January 2020 and 31st March 2021 and want to showcase this activity, then why not enter these awards when the nominations open on 26th April? By entering, all those eligible, will be on the 2021 Honour Roll and you will stand the chance of joining previous finalists and winners of this prestigious event! 

For more information about this year’s awards, click here. 

The UK Social Mobility Awards is a fundraising initiative for the registered charity, Making The Leap.

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