Sewell Group takes social mobility into the Boardroom

One of Yorkshire’s longest established businesses has signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge and is playing a crucial role in boosting social mobility, pledging to offer as many opportunities as possible to people from all backgrounds.

Sewell Group has become a Social Mobility Pledge Accredited Employer, supporting the Rt Hon Justine Greening MP’s pioneering fight to ensure Britain is a country in which people can progress in life, regardless of their personal circumstances or background.

By signing the pledge, the business promises to work in partnership with schools and colleges to provide coaching to people from disadvantaged backgrounds through quality careers advice, mentoring and providing work experience and apprenticeship opportunities.

Sewell Group also pledges to continue to adopt open employee recruitment practices, which promote a level playing field for people facing challenging circumstances.

As part of Humber Business Week 2019, Sewell Group has organised an event called ‘The Kid Done Good’, hosted by the Rt Hon Alan Johnson at its Sewell Studio in Geneva Way, Hull, on Tuesday, June 4.

Mr Johnson will be joined by Ms Greening and some of Hull’s icons and role models of social mobility, who will give a flavour of their inspirational stories, while discussing the Social Mobility Pledge and encouraging businesses to get involved.

Paul Sewell, Chair of Sewell Group, said: “I believe businesses have a fundamental responsibility regarding social mobility and, by signing this pledge, we are cementing our continued commitment to boosting it locally, regionally and nationally.

“Organisations will have the opportunity to publicly sign the pledge with Ms Greening, providing their backing to tackle the growing challenge of social mobility across the UK.

“Some of Hull’s leading lights will tell their inspirational ‘Kid Done Good’ stories, taking the audience on a journey from their humble beginnings and tough hurdles, to how they turned it into success and positivity, demonstrating how social mobility is an indicator and a catalyst to a successful economy and community.”

As part of this commitment, the Social Mobility Pledge’s research team is working on a report to show how Sewell Group supports social mobility and how it is part of the business strategy, rather than corporate social responsibility, with the headlines of the Insights Report to be discussed at the event in June.

Research carried out by the Social Mobility Pledge team shows one in eight children from low-income backgrounds are likely to become a high-income earner as an adult.

Justine Greening MP said: “The reality is that many of the answers on improving social mobility are already out there.

“The key is using the Social Mobility Pledge to allow all the experience, innovation and know-how from great employers to be shared.

“Some of those trailblazing companies are right here in this region. One of the most creative businesses I’ve met supporting the Social Mobility Pledge is the Sewell Group.

“Over the years, they’ve worked hard to get a real mix of different young people through their doors and to cut through the management layers so that they get involved in strategy and decision-making in a way I haven’t seen anywhere else.

“The Social Mobility Pledge is about making a practical difference to employment opportunities and issues that affect people’s life chances by focussing on talents and competence.

“It's about where you're going not where you're from. There is a clear link between what we are doing and how forward-thinking businesses see their own role.

“I’m grateful to Paul and all the staff at Sewell Group. They have committed to making a real difference to social mobility in Britain. I hope many more businesses will follow so that together we change Britain for the better.”

“For too long, perceived class, accent and family connections have eclipsed these factors – and unfairly stopped people from fulfilling their career potential.

“This must change and we hope the Pledge will go a long way towards doing that, but as part of a much wider response that is also clearly needed.

“The first year of the Social Mobility Pledge has shown it can be a powerful force for change and we will now work with even more businesses in the coming months.”

Lewis Grice