The Social Mobility Pledge (“the Pledge”) was launched by the Rt. Hon Justine Greening MP (in partnership with entrepreneur David Harrison) in March 2018. The Pledge is a response to Britain’s widespread lack of social mobility – the progress of individuals through the so-called ‘class ceiling’ or further in life than their parents.
Justine Greening MP says: “Where a person is born and brought up should not define how far they can progress in life but, in Britain, it invariably does. Solving our social mobility issue is pivotal to Britain’s success, and employers hold the key to doing so, through the opportunities they create and the people they choose to offer them to”.
Shoosmiths signed the Pledge in November 2018 and recognises that, as a national leading law firm, it has a crucial role to play in boosting social mobility across the UK. As a Pledge-accredited employer Shoosmiths is committed to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds by:
- partnering with schools and colleges to provide coaching through quality careers advice, enrichment experience and/or mentoring to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances;
- providing structured work experience and apprenticeship opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances; and
- adopting open employee recruitment practices which promote a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.
For some time now Shoosmiths has been working with schools and colleges in social mobility coldspots, providing mentoring opportunities, guidance on career choices, help with mock interviews and skills sessions. From a recruitment perspective Shoosmiths introduced CV blind interviewing more than 12 years ago and is one of a very few law firms to have reduced the minimum grade requirement for training contract applications to CCC at A level. Shoosmiths also works closely with Aspiring Solicitors, an organisation aiming to increase access and diversity across the legal profession.