Social mobility shouldn’t rely on luck
FROM DECEMBER 2014 RECRUITER MAGAZINE
Business must take more demonstrable action to promote social mobility because currently, opportunities only occur through luck, MP for Tottenham David Lammy said at a recent Social Mobility in Financial Services event hosted by recruiter BRUIN Financial.
Social mobility initiatives should involve “helping young people understand culture, reaching deep to get those who are up to it and hopefully, as a consequence, diversifying our businesses and organisations”, Lammy said.
He told of his own experience when, as a 16-year-old aspiring City lawyer, his careers guidance teacher told him he should be a fireman. Luckily, his older brother happened to be going out with a girl who had a lawyer friend. Through that friend of a friend, he gained work experience that set him on course to studying at Harvard Law School in the US and eventually becoming an MP.
Sixth form Dartford Grammar School student Jeffrey Thomas spoke at the event of his desire to work in financial services, but how he found it difficult to gain work experience as he had no contacts.
Through the City Talent Initiative, which was launched by BRUIN after a challenge from Lammy, Thomas gained work experience at JP Morgan and now has an offer to study at the London School of Economics. The City Talent Initiative helps high-achieving young people from low-income backgrounds access opportunities in the finance sector and is managed by the Social Mobility Foundation.
At the same event, David Johnston, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said financial services firms need to seriously consider who they give work experience to, instead of giving it to relatives of employees and friends.