· 2 min read · News

First measures workplace social mobility launched by campaigning group


Campaigning group Professions for Good has launched a Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions, the first common framework to measure the progress of social mobility within the workplace.

The toolkit, researched by Spada on behalf of Professions for Good, surveyed 300 professionals and drew on the expertise of 50 representatives from universities, membership bodies, NGOs, regulators and Government departments.

It provides practical recommendations for employer organisations of all sizes, professional bodies and regulators on how they can track and foster social mobility.

The 52 page toolkit examines the economic, business and moral case for social mobility; the state of social mobility in the UK and the recent policy initiatives in this area by the current Government.

It also provides best-practice advice on how to collect and process data on social mobility and how organisations can diversify the socio-economic profile of their members and employees.

Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts, said: "The Government is committed to investing in a fairer future where social mobility is unlocked and everyone with the potential can access the professions, regardless of their background. A significant proportion of new jobs that are expected to be created in our economy over the next decade are professional ones. We can't afford to let the talent of our people go un-utilised.

"I am delighted that Professions for Good have today published their guidance on how to recruit from the whole of the UK's talent pool to ensure we achieve our goal of a fairer society for everyone."

Sue Upton, Interim MD of the CIPD, welcomed the news. She said: "As HR professionals, our members know that the performance of organisations is enhanced when recruitment takes place from the whole talent pool, regardless of race, gender, social background or any other factors. The same is true for professions. Ours is a profession where barriers to entry are low, and highly successful business careers can be developed regardless of background. This toolkit is a timely reminder for all professions that we all gain if we continuously strive to minimise barriers and maximise our accessibility to all".

Louis Armstrong CBE, Chairman of Professions for Good, added: "The professions are a major UK success story, but more can be done to attract individuals from every strata of society.

"Over the past six months, we have conducted intensive research and consulted with professional bodies, employers, Government departments, educational institutes and charities. The toolkit is ready. It now needs to be used. We will review its uptake and report on progress regularly. Over time we will all benefit: individuals when aspirations can be fulfilled and the professions as they access the widest range of talent available."

The toolkit has its origins in the 2009 Unleashing Aspirations report by Alan Milburn, which highlighted the barriers to entry and social mobility within the UK professions, and the detrimental effect this has on the professions and society at large.

In its aftermath, the Department for Business, Innovation of Skills' Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum and Panel on Fair Access to the Professions recommended the development of a 'Social Mobility Toolkit' for use by the professions. In order to mobilise the professions, Professions for Good and Spada were commissioned to develop today's toolkit.

By collecting sample indicative data every three years, the professions will be able to track their progress against the Coalition Government's Social Mobility Strategy, and report to the relevant regulatory bodies and the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.