The awards, sponsored by PwC and the RAF, celebrate and recognise forward-thinking organisations which are developing initiatives to promote social mobility, within their own workforce, or by influencing the debate from beyond its own walls.
The awards’ organisers, leading social mobility charity, Making the Leap, have said that by "raising awareness and celebrating the people and organisations that are committed to bringing about change, together we can, year on year, advance the practical implementation of social mobility in this country".
The awards shortlist represents a range of sectors and industries who have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives. The judging panel includes prominent figures from business, charity, politics and the public sector and is chaired by HM Lord Lieutenant of London, Ken Olisa OBE. They will determine the winners, who will be announced at an awards gala on 12th October 2017.
Chair of the judging panel, Ken Olisa OBE, who is also the HM Lord Lieutenant of London, said: "Pick up any newspaper or check out any social media thread and you will read arguments about increasing inequality in our country. And worse, much of the blame is laid at the feet of business. Yet this depressing backdrop is far from the whole picture - happily there are many pioneering organisations doing something to reverse the apparent tide. These awards will identify and recognise those leaders with the hope that this will become the start of a movement for change.”
Heather McKendrick, Head of Careers and Outreach at the Law Society of Scotland, said: “Being named as a finalist in the first Social Mobility Awards is an accolade in itself. We’re delighted that our Street Law programme has been recognised.
“Street Law, which sees law students deliver lessons to Scottish school pupils in disadvantaged areas through a series of tailored, interactive sessions, is grounded in the experience of the young people. The sessions examine practical law, legal policy and the constitution and focus not only on understanding what the law is but, crucially, help initiate discussion on what the law ‘ought to be’. The classes use the pupils’ own experiences to develop lifelong skills and, along with boosting the pupils’ knowledge and skills, our Street Law programme is also committed to raising aspirations and encouraging those from less advantaged backgrounds to consider further studies or a career in law.
“Street Law is a long-term investment in young people in Scotland for the Law Society. We’ve had fantastic support from our sponsors, Pinsent Masons, Ashurst and CMS, which has allowed us to expand the initiative – we’ve grown from working in just eight schools in 2014 to delivering 30 Street Law programmes in 40 schools involving more than 1,000 pupils last year.”
Notes to editor
UK Social Mobility Innovation Award shortlist:
- Law Society of Scotland
- Civil Service Fast Stream
- Legal Social Mobility Partnership
- Simmons & Simmons
For more information about the UK Social Mobility Awards and the full list of awards and finalists please see their website.
- The UK Social Mobility Awards is organised by leading social mobility charity Making The Leap, who have supported over 50,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds over 23 years.
- The mission of the UK Social Mobility Awards is to promote the issue of social mobility, and best practice, and celebrate the businesses and organisations that are demonstrating excellence in this arena.
- This awards programme is for UK-based private sector, public sector and third sector organisations that have at least 100 employees.