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Employer newsletter - 9 March 2023

We’ve previously shared with you a number of upcoming employer masterclasses, and we’re delighted to now update you on a further session on Outreach. Join us in the coming months to find out more about Storytelling, Accent Bias and Outreach, and learn how you can make your organisation even more inclusive.

We’ve had to reschedule our Storytelling masterclass – so please do check out the new date below. If you have already registered, you will have received an email from us with details of the new date and time, and an automatic update from Zoom.

We’re always interested to hear what you’ve been up to as well – if you have an employer social mobility story to share, or you’re looking for a member of the Commission to speak at your event, you can always get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading,
The SMC Employers Team

Upcoming Events

Employers’ Masterclass: The art of using storytelling to build inclusion
Wednesday 5th April 2023, 11am-12pm

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to reschedule this event, originally due to take place on Wednesday 22nd March. For those already registered, you will have received an email from us detailing the new date and time, and an automated email from Zoom. For anyone who can no longer attend, don’t worry, you will be able to watch the recording after the event.

At the heart of every organisation is its people – all with a personal story to share that shapes and defines them. Harnessing the power of personal Storytelling as part of your Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy is an effective way to build inclusion into your workplace culture and gain the trust of your employees, whether you are managing a campaign to collect the diversity data of your workforce, planning a recruitment campaign for your early talent programme, or looking to build psychological safety and support a more inclusive workplace.

We’ll be joined by Simon Arrowsmith from Iambic Creative, who will share his expertise on how you can shape the narrative and what you need to consider to ensure the psychological safety of both the sharer and the receiver.

We’ll also be joined by Odo Noel, tri-chair of the Social Mobility Network at Santander, who will discuss her experience of how powerful using personal stories can be to drive change.

Find out more and register for our Storytelling masterclass.

Employers’ Masterclass: Accents in the workplace
Thursday 27th April 2023, 12-1pm

Without visible indicators of socio-economic background, accent has become one of the primary signals of socio-economic status in the UK, creating a hierarchy of accent prestige.

Join us at our April masterclass to explore how you can raise awareness of the issue of Accent Bias in your own organisation and what steps you can take to ensure that your focus is on the knowledge and skills of the employee or candidate, and not their accent.

We’ll be joined by Professor Devyani Sharma from Queen Mary University London, who co-authored recent Sutton Trust research into Accent Bias and will share her findings and their implications for social mobility.

We’ll also be joined by Antoinette Willcocks from FleishmanHillard who will be discussing how they have highlighted the issue of accent bias in their organisations and what steps they have taken to drive change.

Find out more and register for our Accent Bias masterclass.

Employers’ Masterclass: Outreach and social mobility
Tuesday 16th May 2023, 1-2pm

Our May masterclass will cover how employers can use Outreach to build an inclusive recruitment pipeline from the ground up, reaching and attracting a wide pool of talent.

We’ll be joined by Career Ready, a national social mobility charity supporting employers and educators to kickstart a rewarding future for young people.

We will also be joined by healthcare provider Bupa, and Be-It, a small recruitment business operating in Glasgow. Both will share how they have built Outreach into their early talent strategy.

Find out more and register for our Outreach masterclass.

Hear more from the SMC

Social Mobility Talks podcast: Contextualised recruitment

OUT NOW: The latest episode of our Social Mobility Talks podcast!

Contextualised recruitment is used by many employers across different sectors, taking a person’s unique circumstances into account when looking at their application for a job. But what exactly is it, and how does it work?

In episode 2, our Interim Chair, Alun Francis, is joined by Joanne Conway, Head of Diversity and Inclusiveness at EY, Professor Stephen Gorard, Durham University, and Professor Barnaby Lenon, Head of the Independent Schools Council. In this episode, they debate the pros and cons of contextualised recruitment and admissions, and discuss how we can make sure that contextualisation is used most effectively.

Listen now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or watch the video on YouTube

In case you missed it!

  • In March 2022, the SMC committed to take forward Action 53 of the government’s Inclusive Britain policy paper, seeking to investigate and improve the information available to young people about the labour market value of qualifications, to improve their employment prospects.
    Last month we published our Interim Report, setting out the work that we’ve done so far and some potential next steps for the coming year.


  • The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) published its annual state of the nation report, ‘Ready for the Future: A review of Careers Education in England 21/22’.
    Among their key findings was that awareness of apprenticeships doubles from 39% in Year 7 to 81% by Year 11, with apprenticeship awareness now almost on a par with A Levels (88%)!
    You can read the full report on the CEC website now.


  • New research by the Essential Skills Tracker 23 from the Skills Builder Partnership together with the CIPD, Edge Foundation and KPMG, has revealed that low essential skills cost the economy £22bn in 2022.
    The research, with fieldwork conducted by YouGov, found that in addition to the cost to the economy, people with higher levels of essential skills experience have improved social mobility, employment, earnings, job satisfaction and life satisfaction.You can read the report here.