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Department for Opportunities launched

Today, SMF is launching its new campaigning arm, the Department for Opportunities.

The aim of the new Department for Opportunities (DO) is to mobilise a coalition of the willing – including employers, communities, charities, councils, schools, colleges and universities – to take action within their spheres of influence to improve social mobility.

DO’s focus will be on civil society rather than Whitehall, working with leaders in the social mobility field to establish what interventions work most effectively and advocate for their adoption. It will work alongside such civil society organisations to help them adopt practical social mobility-friendly approaches and will benchmark those taking the most effective actions.

Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, said:

“There is a social crisis in Britain today and it’s about geography as much as money. The gulf between our great cities and rural areas, coastal places and former industrial towns gets ever wider. And it’s only going to get worse unless someone does something about it.

Government has its role to play but change cannot be left to it alone. Employers, local authorities, schools, universities, charities all have a contribution to make. In fact, we all do.

This is why we are launching the Department for Opportunities (DO). It will create a coalition of the willing to do something to improve social mobility. Rather than talk about social mobility, we are going to do something about it.”

The launch is accompanied with DO’s first campaign: CVs Aren’t Working.

DO is calling on employers to overhaul their outdated recruitment processes that are shutting out talented young people from low income backgrounds. Those from a wealthier background are nearly 80% more likely to end up in professional jobs than those from a working class background.[1]  Young people from poorer and working class backgrounds are being locked out of professional careers because employers give too much weight to Russell Group universities and fee-paying and selective schools on CVs.

You can find out more about the Department for Opportunities by going to its website.

[1] Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation report, April 2019

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