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Rise initiative launched: ICAEW leads on social mobility plan

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 08 Dec 2021

GCSE-aged pupils at UK schools will learn work and life skills through a programme launched by ICAEW and five large professional services firms.

A new ICAEW-led programme called Rise will teach communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills to pupils in workshops at schools across the country. The scheme, which was founded by ICAEW, EY, KPMG, PwC, BDO and Grant Thornton, has been set up to raise the aspirations of young people from low socio-economic backgrounds.

The group wants young people to have the skills required to succeed in life and work, irrespective of their socio-economic background and future career choices.

However, it is not about encouraging young people to become accountants. Rise will focus on building a talented workforce for the future economy. The initiative was designed to help overcome the impact of the pandemic on education, with many pupils facing setbacks in their studies and missing out on important career development opportunities, such as work experience placements.

Rise aims to reach 3,000 pupils across 50 workshops in the next academic year, with up to 60 young people participating in each session. The workshops will commence next spring. It is targeted at more-deprived schools in disadvantaged areas with fewer opportunities.

Rise will be delivered in collaboration with the educational charity Talent Foundry and the UK’s top accountancy firms. Deloitte and Mazars have also signed up to the initiative.

“We know that many pupils are trying to catch up after the major disruptions to their education caused by the pandemic, and that’s why we want to ensure they have the skills they need for the future,” says ICAEW Chief Executive Michael Izza. “By focusing on key areas like problem-solving and working in a team, we hope Rise will have a big impact on social mobility. We’re grateful for the support from our Rise partners and we hope this inspires organisations across the economy to get involved.”

“Social mobility is not a problem we can fix with just one intervention. Rise promises to make a real difference by investing in young people, and will help to build their confidence, skills and aid their development,” Sarah Atkinson, CEO of The Social Mobility Foundation, who is speaking at the launch event, says. “The work employers were doing in outreach and support for schools was not evenly spread across the country before the pandemic, so to be a success, Rise will need to identify those young people who need it most – in areas where opportunities are simply not on offer.”

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