I was very fortunate this morning to be joined by David Alcock, Jess Phillips MP, Darren Burns and Stephanie Burras for a fantastic discussion around social mobility in the workplace. We heard from Jess about why social mobility matters and how we need to revisit the theory of meritocracy and recognise that individuals have different priorities in order to drive positive change. We heard from Darren about how Timpson have structured their recruitment approach around providing opportunities to ex-offenders who would otherwise be sidelined. We learned from Stephanie about the fantastic work of the Ahead Partnership in working with businesses to address social mobility issues. 

It can often be easy to talk about why social mobility is important, but it can be much harder to translate that into practical steps to deliver change. That is why, today, we have launched our very own Social Mobility Toolkit to help organisations address the challenge. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Central England Co-operative and Boston Borough Council, this will be available free of charge. 

The toolkit is split into three broad sections covering all stages of the employment journey. These include helpful wording and case studies to assist you in formulating a new strategy and putting it into practice. 

We begin by looking at outreach and recruitment. This section includes some useful tips to help ensure that outreach programmes and work experience schemes are productive. It also considers how equality of opportunity can best be promoted at the recruitment stage, from the wording of advertisements through to the interview process itself. 

We then move on to consider inductions. The danger for many organisations is to recognise that changes need to be made at the recruitment stage and work hard to make those changes, but then fail to recognise that the issues do not end once an individual enters the workplace. In this section, we include some examples and tips to help ensure that inductions are inclusive of colleagues from all backgrounds. 

Finally, we look at development and progression. Research has consistently shown that in all types of jobs, individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds are likely to find it more difficult to progress and to secure leadership and management roles. In this section, we include some forms and sample policies to help ensure that your approaches to promotion are consistent and avoid being influenced by unconscious bias.

If you would like to register your interest in receiving a copy of the toolkit, you can do so by entering your details using the link below. If you would value a more detailed discussion about improving social mobility in your organisation, then please do get in touch.