England & Wales, Scotland Communities and society, Education and children's services

Local government driving social mobility


Image by Fathromi Ramdlon from Pixabay

The Social Mobility Commission is at the heart of driving socio-economic diversity across England, working with government and employers to create impactful change.

We are now calling on local government to help create future guidance for the public sector. This is the perfect opportunity to get involved at the creation stage, helping us shape the guidance so that it reflects your specific needs.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on those from lower socio-economic backgrounds in recent months, it is now more important than ever that we focus our efforts to ensure those from disadvantaged backgrounds aren’t left behind.

Our recent report The Long Shadow of Deprivation reveals stark inequalities and confirms what many of us have long suspected – that where you grow up truly does matter. And at a national level, those from affluent backgrounds earn, on average, double the annual income (£27,000) of those from the most deprived families (£13,000).

Social mobility in England is a postcode lottery, but there are things we can all do to redress this inequality and drive positive change. Ultimately this not only benefits individuals, but businesses and organisations. We know, for instance, that:

  • Employees from lower socio-economic backgrounds perform at least as well as their more advantaged peers, often outperforming them
  • Diversity leads to innovation – an ‘innovation mindset’ is six times higher in the most-equal cultures
  • Inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time – and twice as fast, delivering 60% better results
  • And our research shows that learners from disadvantaged backgrounds who complete an apprenticeship enjoy the biggest boost to earnings

As part of this drive for change, we launched the employers’ toolkit in February of this year. It provides insights and advice for employers on how they can improve the diversity of their workforce. It is packed with ideas on the data employers can use to measure progress, guidance on how to build a strong outreach programme, create a more inclusive culture or advocate for change within their sector. And our newly launched series of videos provides top tips on the key themes of dataoutreachhiringprogression and culture & leadership.

We are now creating a series of sector-specific toolkits – starting with the public sector. The public sector is very much at the forefront of change and this toolkit will help accelerate this. It will include a rich body of guidance to help senior leaders, HR Directors, D&I Leads and line managers at every stage of their journey. As a Commission we recognise that there are differences across the sector, so to ensure that the advice reflects the requirements of different parts of the public sector we want to hear from you, local government.

Together, let’s promote meaningful paths of opportunity, so that everyone has a decent chance of a better future.

Please take advantage of this opportunity and help us drive impactful change across government.

To contact us email [email protected] or visit https://www.socialmobilityworks.org to view our research and toolkit.




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