Rt Hon David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, is urging local businesses to help deliver more opportunities for young people across the Borough by signing up to the Social Mobility Pledge.
The Pledge was launched last week by the former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, during a Westminster Hall debate, at which Mr Evennett was also present to support.
The Pledge consists of three commitments:
- Partnering directly with schools or colleges to provide coaching through quality careers advice, enrichment experience and/or mentoring to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances. Businesses can work through the many social mobility charities and organisations, such as Speakers for Schools, Inspiring the Future, the Princes Trust, the Careers and Enterprise Company, that are already there to help businesses and employers do more on the ground.
- Access – providing structured work experience and/or apprenticeship opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.
- Recruitment – adopting open employee recruitment practices which promote a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances, such as name blind recruitment and contextual recruitment.
Mr Evennett is now writing to prominent local businesses in the hope that they will also support the initiative, which has the backing of the Confederation of British Industry, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Mr Evennett commented: “Education and social mobility are two passions of mine, especially as a former teacher and lecturer. Despite some great successes, unfortunately for too long the UK hasn’t done as well on social mobility as we would like, and where you start in life often determines where you finish.”
“I strongly believe that talent and hard work alone should determine how far people can go in life, whoever you are, and wherever you are from. Whilst Bexley is a social mobility hotspot, there is still more to be done and I therefore hope local businesses will sign up to the Pledge.”