Last month, Heart of the City organised an Advanced member workshop on Social Mobility and Apprenticeships hosted by DLA Piper. Members discovered why playing an active role in improving social mobility is vital for all businesses regardless of sector and size and took away useful tips for taking on apprentices.
Members heard from Claire Tunley, Head of Employability at City of London Corporation, who spoke about why social mobility is important for business and practical steps to support social mobility for small businesses.
This was followed by Clem Johnson and Nicolas Patrick from DLA Piper who shared their experience of the evolving social mobility programme at DLA Piper and how it progressed from individual programmes in each office, to their ‘Break into Law’ initiative and more focused ‘Headstart’ programme, piloting in the UK this year.
Following an overview of social mobility programmes, the workshop moved on to apprenticeships. Whilst not a complete solution to the issue of social mobility, apprenticeships have the potential to drive and enable social mobility. Essentially ‘a job with training’, apprenticeships last a minimum of 12 months and are linked to occupational levels, reflecting employer needs. They are high quality, rigorous, and develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for a specific job role.
Claire shed some light on the basics of apprenticeships and shared useful tips for getting started as well as sign-posting members towards some useful tools developed by the City of London Corporation.
Members also had the opportunity to learn about the practical steps to taking on an apprentice from Kerry Amies at T. Rowe Price, including how the organisation first got started. She shared T. Rowe Price’s motivations for having an apprenticeship scheme, how it evolved, the struggles they faced and tips for managing such a scheme within a smaller business.
Finally, Lauren Roberts, Youth Engagement Coordinator at City and Guilds Group, shared an inspiring account as a former apprentice to now currently leading an innovative network for apprentices.