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Employer newsletter - 12 January 2023

We are delighted that Alun Francis OBE is to be the new Interim Chair of the Social Mobility Commission following Katharine Birbalsingh’s decision to step down as Chair.

Alun was previously Deputy Chair of the SMC and we look forward to working with him to continue to deliver the commitments in our business plan, including an exciting programme of employer events and resources.

As you’ll see below, we still have a packed schedule this month, with a wide range of events planned, and we hope to see you soon.

Thanks for reading,
The SMC Employers Team

Upcoming events:

Using workforce data to understand and improve social mobility

Wednesday 18th January, 2-3pm

Register now for our next masterclass! Join us on 18 January 2023, 3-4pm, to explore ‘Using workforce data to understand and improve social mobility’.

As an employer, data is one of the most important tools you have to understand and improve diversity in your workplace. However, many employers report that collecting socio-economic background data remains their biggest challenge.

In this masterclass, we’ll be joined by Tracy Garrad, CEO of AXA Health, who will discuss AXA’s journey in improving their socio-economic background data, including why this matters, their successes and challenges, and their plans for the future.  

Register now to attend our data masterclass.

National Apprenticeships Week – Using Apprenticeships to improve social mobility and build skills for life

Thursday 9th February 2023, 12-1pm

Join us in celebrating National Apprenticeship Week with our apprenticeships masterclass on 9th February! We’ll be exploring the role of apprenticeships and how they can drive social mobility and develop skills for life for individuals and the workforce.

Harry Morgan, Skills for Jobs Lead from Microsoft, will be sharing their experience of the Microsoft apprenticeship programme and how it has empowered almost 30,000 apprentices to build careers in technology and digital. 

We will also be joined by Jessica Leigh Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of iungo Solutions, to discuss the role of apprenticeships in upskilling individuals and workforces to help solve key skill gaps.

Find out more and register for our apprenticeships masterclass 

Hear more from the SMC:

Business in the Community’s ‘Time to Act: Addressing Inequalities in Education’

Thursday 19 January 2023, 10-11.30am

The Social Mobility Commission is thrilled to be a part of this Business in the Community (BiTC) event. We will be sharing the key challenges faced in education and what businesses can be doing to help.

As an employer, you can register to hear more about the launch of BiTC’s new calls to action in education, including how you can respond to the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis to improve the skills, wellbeing and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people in education.

Find out more and register for ‘Time to Act: Addressing Inequalities in Education’

The Whitehall & Industry Group’s ‘A New Approach to Social Mobility’

Tuesday 24th January 2023, 8-10am

We are delighted that John Craven, Director of the Social Mobility Commission will be speaking at the Whitehall & Industry Group’s latest event, ‘A New Approach to Social Mobility’.

John will be providing a deep dive into the SMC’s State of the Nation Report 2022, explaining and discussing the ways in which the SMC is changing its approach to how social mobility is viewed.

Find out more about ‘A New Approach to Social Mobility’

Institute for Government’s ‘Data Bites #37 Data for social mobility: improving the collection and availability of data across government’

Wednesday 25th January 2023, 6-7.20pm

In December 2022, we published our latest report, ‘Data for social mobility: improving the collection and availability of data across government’

On Wednesday 25th January we’ll be taking part in the Institute for Government’s regular Data Bites series to discuss our report in more detail. The SMC’s Interim Chair, Alun Francis OBE, will begin the evening, followed by Michael Pandazis, Head of Evidence, who will discuss how this impacts our annual State of the Nation report.

Alun and Michael will be joined by additional speakers from within the world of data, and there will be a chance for questions and networking at the event. If you work in or around government, or you’re interested in the use of data in government, you can register to attend this free event in person or watch online.

Find out more and register for ‘Data Bites’

In case you missed it:

Last month, the City of London Corporation Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce published their ‘Breaking the Class Barrier’ recommendations report.
The report provides government, regulators, sector bodies and employers with a 5-point pathway intended to boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels in UK financial and professional services.

The Social Mobility Commission’s ‘Financial and professional services toolkit’ was designed in collaboration with industry partners, including the City of London Corporation, to give you actionable advice to help you improve socio-economic diversity in your organisation.


Santander UK announced that it will no longer require students to achieve a 2:1 degree to be eligible for its graduate schemes, in order to widen their talent pool and increase socio-economic diversity in the organisation. 

Removing grade boundaries can be a great way to open up opportunities to even more talented candidates. Our ‘Financial and professional services toolkit’ contains even more advice to ensure your hiring practices are accessible and equitable to all applicants.