Have you ever had someone who’s helped you get where you are?
Whether it be a friend, a family member, a mentor, a teacher at school – there’s always that someone. It may be that they raised your aspirations or helped you develop new skills. Perhaps they gave you confidence and made you believe in yourself or gave you a different way to think about your future. Whatever they did, that someone helped set you on the way and you’ll always have that connection with them.
Heart of the City ambassador Deloitte, a global professional services firm, put purpose at the heart of a responsible business initiative. In 2016, they developed a programme that set out to be ‘that someone’ for one million people across the UK. And they’ve indeed made an impact on one million futures – a year ahead of target!
The One Million Futures programme set out to help one million people get to where they want to be through access to education and employment. Aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the programme does this by focusing on skills, education and inclusion and through partnerships with 90 charities, schools and social enterprises.
One Million Futures has impacted one million people. That’s one million people with a brighter future today, one million stories, and one million reasons to celebrate. So, in honour of this great achievement, Deloitte has put together a series of videos. Watch for a powerful reminder that whatever your aspirations, sometimes a helping hand can make all the difference.
Why this goal?
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution advances millions of people are being left behind because they lack the education and training needed to succeed in this rapidly changing economy. This is especially relevant now, with the financial impact of Covid-19 negatively impacting employment figures. One Million Futures focused on helping people overcome the barriers they face to education and employment, empowering one million people to get to where they want to be.
One million is an ambitious goal and Deloitte set out five years to achieve it. Fast forward four years and they’ve reached the goal ahead of schedule! From the classroom to the boardroom, One Million Futures has helped people from different backgrounds across the UK.
Some people have taken part in the programme directly through mentoring programmes in schools and Deloitte’s ’s transition labs. Others have been a part of the work that Deloitte’s partner charities, schools and social enterprises do. But all have one thing in common: a brighter future ahead.
Deloitte’s short films about some of these one million people show some incredible stories. You can follow people on their journey to where they are now –the challenges and the moments they felt proud of themselves. Here’s what Claire Burton, Director of Responsible Business at Deloitte UK has to say:
“I’m extremely proud of achieving our One Million Futures target and in particular the impact we have made thorough working with our society partners. We know our professionals make the greatest societal impact when they use their skills and expertise to help people. So that’s what we do – our people use their skills as leaders, mentors and problem-solvers to help people get to where they want to be through access to education and employment. We are not stopping here, and we look forward to continuing this work!”
What’s next for Deloitte?
The last few months have shown that there’s an increasing need and desire for business to make a positive difference in their communities. For Deloitte, achieving their one million milestone has only reinforced their commitment to be a force for good.
Whether it’s helping people navigate the post-pandemic landscape or creating an inclusive society and work environment, they’ll continue to play their part to remove barriers and help people to get to where they want to be. Following the success of this achievement, they’ve set another ambitious target that will be set as part of the WorldClass 50 Million Futures global commitment.
Can SMEs do the same?
As you can see, the impact of Deloitte’s One Million Futures programme has been positive from a community and staff engagement perspective. But your business doesn’t have to be large to accomplish great things as you can still support your community amidst the challenges of Covid-19.
Small businesses are agile, so think about what you can do to build on your existing activities and get involved with out-of-school activities for young people. Identify which community areas resonate with your business and where any skilled volunteering would make sense. Think about offering virtual work experience – get some tips in our resource on making virtual internships a success. You can look at advancing social mobility or bridging the digital divide as lots of young people don’t have access to devices or the internet.