Professions could do more for social mobility

THE PROFESSIONS could do more to enhance social mobility, Professions for Good said at the launch of its Social Mobility Toolkit.

“The professions are a major UK success story, but more can be done to attract individuals from every strata of society,” said Louis Armstrong, chairman of Professions for Good.

The Social Mobility Toolkit for the Professions, a common framework measuring mobility within the professions and researched by Spada on behalf of Professions for Good, provides practical recommendations for employer organisations, professional bodies and regulators on how they can track and foster social mobility.

The toolkit examines the case for social mobility, the current state of mobility, and recent government policy, as well as providing best-practice advice to employers, regulators and professional bodies on how to measure and enable social mobility.

“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,” Armstrong said.

The 52-page toolkit’s launch was welcomed by the professional bodies.
Michael Izza, CEO of ICAEW said: “Schemes like these will not just make access fairer, they will also help boost the profession’s competitiveness by ensuring we can make the most of talent from across the whole spectrum of society.”

CIOT deputy president Patrick Stevens said: “The professions need to be open to all, based on merit, regardless of class or background.

“Professions such as accountancy and tax advice already provide one of the most effective routes to advancement for people not from privileged or affluent background… But there is no room for complacency. It is right that we, as professional bodies and individual employers, look to see if there is more we can do to increase the diversity of our profession.”

Neil Stevenson, executive director, brand at ACCA, said: “By working together, and by sharing best practice, the professions can be a force for change when it comes to social mobility.”

The toolkit, which has its origins in the 2009 ‘Unleashing Aspirations’ report by Alan Milburn, surveyed 300 professionals and drew on the expertise of fifty representatives from universities, membership bodies, NGOs, regulators and Government departments.

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