Apprenticeships are one of the most powerful tools to enable social mobility and develop a talented workforce that can meet the challenges of the future.
But apprenticeships in England are not fulfilling this promise – apprentices from working class backgrounds face barriers at every stage, while organisations are missing out on talented people. The pandemic has only exacerbated these gaps.
We have heard from so many of you that you want to do your part to address this but don’t know where to start. So we have developed a practical toolkit to provide you with tips, effective actions, examples and further resources as you take your next step.
To launch this toolkit, we are delighted to be joined by an incredible panel of apprenticeship practitioners to explore some key challenges in this work – from how to find out someone’s socio-economic background to how you do innovative outreach and design fantastic progression opportunities for apprentices.
- Alex Miles, Managing Director, North & West Yorkshire Learning Providers
- Anna Morrison CBE, Director, Amazing Apprenticeships
- Cassandra Flavius, Apprenticeship Ambassador
- Jessica Oghenegweke, Director, Association of Apprentices and Social Mobility Commissioner (Chair)
- Kasim Choudhry, Creative Director, BAME Apprentice Network
- Steven Cooper, CEO, Aldermore Group and Social Mobility Commission Co-chair
Please grab some nibbles and join us for a lunchtime conversation as we draw on our experience to identify best practices and share important lessons.
There will be lots of opportunities throughout the session to feed in questions, challenges and insights from your practice. Close captions will be available for this event. Please note the session will be recorded.
Whether you are just starting out on apprenticeships or want to pioneer new practices, we would love to have you there. Inclusion doesn’t have to come with a big price tag – what matters is your conviction and your readiness to try something different and learn from it.
We can’t wait to get into this conversation with you all and hope it will inspire many more conversations of this kind in your own context.
Apprenticeships and social mobility – Speaker information:
Alex Miles is the Managing Director of the North & West Yorkshire Learning Providers network, Director of the Northern Skills Network and Governor at Selby College. With over 18 years of experience in the FE sector, she supports training organisations across Yorkshire by providing ongoing information, advice and guidance, CPD and policy development, with a particular focus on quality improvement and ensuring members have robust equality, diversity and inclusion practices.
Anna Morrison CBE is the Director and founder of Amazing Apprenticeships, an organisation that creates and publishes a variety of inspirational and interactive resources to support teachers, students, parents & carers and employers to understand the range of apprenticeships available and to help them to feel confident and informed about the next steps to take.
Cassandra Flavius has been a passionate Apprenticeship Ambassador for more than a decade. She completed a Business Administration Apprenticeship at the Department for Education in 2010 after a long journey that involved being homeless and living in hostels, having her daughter a week before her 18th birthday, taking evening college classes and applying for a hundred jobs with no luck. When the Job Centre directed her to an open day which turned out to be at the DfE, she had no idea what the civil service or apprenticeships were. Since then, Cassandra has worked for four government departments, travelled nationally and internationally and collaborated with many more people across Whitehall where she continues to promote apprenticeships.
Jessica Oghenegweke is a Director at the Association of Apprentices and a Commissioner for the Social Mobility Commission. She is also a creative host for Apprentice Nation, creating and delivering webinars to young people and a student at Brunel University studying Global Challenges. Jessica completed a production apprenticeship at the BBC in 2017 and since then has worked for BBC Earth Kids as a presenter.
Kasim Choudhry is the Creative Director of the BAME Apprentice Network, a community of diverse apprentices which aims to change the landscape of apprenticeships, empowering apprentices to develop personally and professionally, as well as championing change within the sector. The Network not only acts as an aid for apprentices but also supports employers and learning providers on their journey to making a meaningful difference to their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy.
Steven Cooper is the CEO of Aldermore Group. He was previously the CEO of C. Hoare & Co, the UK’s oldest privately-owned bank, and spent 30 years of his career at Barclays, starting as a branch cashier and working his way up to lead several of their major businesses. Steven is also the Joint Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, Chairman of Experian UK and a Non-Executive Director of the global recruitment company Robert Walters PLC.