Accounting Firms

ICAEW launches social mobility initiative

The scheme was founded by ICAEW, EY, KPMG, PwC, BDO and Grant Thornton to teach important skills to young students from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Chartered accountancy body, ICAEW, has launched an initiative for GCSE-aged students at deprived schools in disadvantaged areas in the UK to learn work and life-related skills in bespoke sessions designed to drive social mobility.

The programme, called ‘Rise’, will teach communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills to students in workshops at schools across the country, and it will be rolled out following a successful pilot scheme over the last year.

The scheme was founded by ICAEW, EY, KPMG, PwC, BDO and Grant Thornton. Additionally, Deloitte and Mazars have also signed up to support Rise.

ICAEW said Rise was designed to help overcome the impact of the pandemic on education as students have missed out on important career development opportunities, such as work experience placements.

Additionally, the initiative was reportedly set up to raise the aspirations of young people from low socio-economic backgrounds “by ensuring they have the skills required to succeed in life and work, irrespective of their background and future career choices”. 

The accountancy body said that rather than encouraging young people to become accountants, the initiative will focus on “building a talented workforce for the future economy”.

Meanwhile, Rise aims to reach 3,000 pupils across 50 workshops in the 2021/22 academic year, with up to 60 young people participating in each session.

The initiative will be delivered in collaboration with the educational charity Talent Foundry and some of the UK’s top accountancy firms.  

Michael Izza, ICAEW chief executive, said: “We’re pleased to launch our new social mobility initiative Rise, which will make a real difference to young people, especially those from low socio-economic backgrounds who have been left behind.

“We know that many pupils are trying to catch up after the major disruptions to their education caused by the pandemic, and that’s why we want to ensure they have the skills they need for the future.”

Sarah Atkinson, CEO of The Social Mobility Foundation, added: “The work employers were doing in outreach and support for schools was not evenly spread across the country before the pandemic, so to be a success, Rise will need to identify those young people who need it most – in areas where opportunities are simply not on offer.”

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