National Social Mobility Tour begins at Exeter College

Social Mobility Pledge founder, the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, visited Exeter College on the first leg of her national Social Mobility Tour. 

The summer-long tour of schools, colleges and businesses across the UK will champion social mobility and uncover some of the barriers. 

Exeter College, which has been rated outstanding is committed to supporting people from all backgrounds in reaching their full potential. The college has a diverse intake of students, many of whom come from rural areas, which poses a different set of social mobility challenges. 

The national tour is part of the Social Mobility Pledge, which was launched in March by Justine Greening MP.

It encourages companies to work with local schools and colleges, offer apprenticeships and adopt open recruitment polices such as name-blind or contextual recruitment.

It aims to ensure employees are able to progress in their careers based on talent and potential, not their upbringing, accent or personal connections with bosses.

Justine Greening MP visited Exeter College and met with Principal John Laramy to see first hand its commitment to supporting social mobility and how it works with local businesses. 

During her visit she said: “The Social Mobility Pledge is about local companies unlocking opportunities including work experience for Exeter’s young people. They can tap into more local talent at the same time as having a huge impact on local communities.

“I applaud Exeter College for the work they are doing and I urge others to join us in making Britain a country in which a person’s background no longer unfairly dictates how far they can go in life.” 

A number of the UK’s major employers, including John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Vodafone, KPMG and ITV, have already signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge.

Other accredited Social Mobility Employers include BT, Adidas, True Potential, PWC, Deloitte and Severn Trent Water. 

The Pledge was founded by Justine Greening MP in partnership with UK fintech entrepreneur David Harrison of the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, which takes an entrepreneurial approach to tackling low social mobility in the UK. 

Ms Greening has long fought to improve social mobility in Britain and left the Government in January so she could continue her campaign.

Growing up in Rotherham, she experienced unemployment and life on benefits within her own family. Later she became the first Education Secretary to have been educated at a comprehensive school.