Former Education Secretary Justine Greening is working with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to protect opportunities and boost social mobility.Advertisement
The partnership comes as research shows 80 per cent of people are concerned there will be fewer job opportunities for young people over the next year.
Communities already suffering most from a lack of social mobility now look set to be hit hardest by the economic fallout following coronavirus.
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Justine Greening set up the Social Mobility Pledge in 2018 to tackle Britain’s widespread lack of social mobility.
By signing the Pledge, businesses and universities commit to enhancing opportunities by working with local schools; offering training and apprenticeships; and by adopting fair recruitment polices.
The partnership between Justine Greening and UCLan will include the development of an Opportunity Action Plan in the wake of COVID-19.
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The plan will share UCLan’s work to increase the number of opportunities within its organisation and its local communities.
The plan will also set out how the university plans to go further and play its role in Britain’s national COVID-19 recovery, amid warnings of a rise in youth unemployment.
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Ms Greening said: “With a million young people due to enter the workplace this summer, many are seeing their life prospects drastically downgraded, with jobs and job offers disappearing.
“Meanwhile, massive demand for reskilling and career shifting support is building up.
“The challenge now, and one that the UCLan has stepped up to, is for Britain’s businesses and universities to play their role in boosting opportunity and social mobility as part of our national recovery.
“I’m looking forward to working with the UCLan on their Opportunity Action Plan. They are committed to making a difference and levelling up Britain.”
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Professor Graham Baldwin, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Central Lancashire, said: “We have always prided ourselves on being an open and accessible institution for people of all ages and all backgrounds.
“We strongly believe in the power of higher education to promote social mobility and this is reflected in our extensive widening participation activities with schools, colleges and community groups.
“We are extremely pleased to have made our Social Mobility Pledge, and to be working in partnership with Justine Greening.
“We are now in a vital period of recovery for the country and for the region, and we have a central role to play in helping to ensure future prosperity.”
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