The legal sector’s drive to tackle social mobility has been enhanced with the launch of a new toolkit by a collaboration of bodies called Professions for Good (PFG).
The Social Mobility Toolkit, aimed at traditional professions such as accounting, law, surveying, engineering and medicine, gives an overview of the main barriers to entry to the professions, suggests best practices and supplies a template questionnaire to measure social economic makeup.
Chairman of PFG Louis Armstrong CBE said: “Over the past six months, we have conducted intensive research and consulted with professional bodies, employers, Government departments, educational institutes and charities. The toolkit is ready. It now needs to be used.
“We will review its uptake and report on progress regularly. Over time we will all benefit: individuals when aspirations can be fulfilled and the professions as they access the widest range of talent available.”
The Toolkit was proposed by the Gateways to the Professions Collaborative Forum following Alan Milburn’s ’Unleashing Aspiration’ report to the Government in 2009, which found that the professions in the UK are a ‘closed shop’ to those from poorer families.
The best practice recommendations in the Toolkit include mentoring poorer young people, eliminating the ‘who you know’ culture of work experience and offering cheaper routes into the profession.
The news follows the launch of Prime, the first profession-wide social mobility initiative set up by 23 law firms. Almost 75 firms across the country are now signed up to the scheme (12 September 2011).
For an analysis of the Social Mobility Toolkit please see here.