I was thinking about this the other day. Maybe my definition is different to others….
So what prompted this thought? I’d been invited by a global financial services organisation with a multi £bn turnover and global presence to share my work with their Social Mobility team.
During this meeting I explained how I devised and run Growing Talent which has got over 120 people from the ranks of the unemployed into permanent jobs which they have flourished in. Over four years, many have returned to encourage those following them and shared how much Growing Talent had changed their lives. Some have started their own business.
I gave many examples from graduates who had no direction, self belief nor understanding of what the world of employment looked like to people like Richard – mid 30s, never worked – who not only completed the programme but has been employed for over two years now.
People on Growing Talent come from all social backgrounds including the homeless, single parents, people who have experienced mental health issues and so on.
With nurturing and encouragement they have secured employment, got savings, taken back control of their lives and have immense self-belief. To me, this is social mobility.
At the end of the meeting, the Social Mobility team said Growing Talent was good but what about clothes? Clothes do not bring about change. A mindset, encouragement into work and self belief do as my evidence shows.
So what does Social Mobility mean to you? Is it a new set of clothes or is it giving the tools to someone to literally change their lives?
I sincerely hope the money being invested into these Social Mobility teams actually delivers real change and doesn’t just become a tick box exercise….