Accountancy-led social mobility initiative Rise expanded its membership this week, welcoming 16 new professional services firms and boosting its capacity to deliver support to young people from the poorest households.
Last December, ICAEW, EY, KPMG, PwC, BDO and Grant Thornton launched Rise with the aim of teaching life skills including communication, problem-solving and teamwork to young people from lower economic backgrounds.
The addition of 16 new partner organisations, including accountancy firms Duncan & Toplis, Moore Kingston Smith and RSM UK, will enable Rise to offer more volunteers to support sessions and develop relationships with schools in their local communities.
Sharon Spice, Director, Global Marketing, Brand and Belonging, ICAEW, says the contribution of new partners to the Rise programme will make a real difference to young people, especially those who have had to play catch up on their studies after their education was impacted by the pandemic.
“Rise has already had a tangible impact on young people’s lives, so we are very pleased to extend the programme further and look forward to the positive difference all our new partners will make,” she says.
Britain has one of the worst rates of social mobility in the rich world. Those born into the poorest households have fewer opportunities to develop and pursue careers, irrespective of their hard work and talent. Analysis shows the pandemic hit poorer young people disproportionately hard, with research from the London School of Economics revealing that those from low socio-economic backgrounds were much more likely to have lost work since the pandemic began. Of those who grew up in the poorest 20% of households, 40% of those who had worked in January 2020 had lost their jobs between April 2020 and March 2021. This contrasts with 16% of those who grew up in the top 80% of the income distribution.
Sophie Parkhouse, partner at Albert Goodman – one of the new Rise partners – says: “We are fully engaged with the Rise initiative and cannot wait to collaborate with so many bright young persons and have a positive impact on their future journey.”
With the help of the new partners, Rise aims to have 6,000 pupils attend 100 workshops in 2022-23. Educational charity The Talent Foundry delivers the workshops on behalf of Rise.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) is also a new Rise partner. “As Chartered Accountants and finance professionals, we have a responsibility to pass on our knowledge to those who are in need of it the most,” says ICAS Chief Executive Bruce Cartwright.
“Working with children from schools in areas of low social mobility at this early stage in their lives is vital and by partnering with the Rise initiative, we can help provide them with the tools and understanding they can use to work towards a successful career and a bright future.”
Cara Turtington, partner at Saffery Champness, agrees: “The pandemic has put particular pressures on young people and their education, but through Rise we can be part of supporting them to close educational gaps and develop invaluable skills for future professionals.”
New partner Crowe, meanwhile, says it is committed to creating opportunities for talented individuals to join and flourish in the accountancy profession. “Our firm-wide approach is to create a truly inclusive organisation and celebrate the benefits that diverse teams bring us, as a firm, and as individuals,” says Chief People Officer Tony White. “ With that in mind, we’re really excited to join Rise, an inspiring programme that aims to support people in expanding their horizons and shining a light on the wide range of career opportunities available to them.”
Laura Beswick, Director of Apprenticeships, Accounting and Tax, BPP Professional Education, says: “We want everyone, regardless of their background, to have the opportunity to build their career through education and we’re looking forward to getting involved and making a positive impact.”
- Find out more about the Rise initiative and express your interest in becoming a partner.
New Rise partners:
- Albert Goodman
- Atmo Technology
- Dixon Wilson
- Duncan & Toplis
- First Intuition
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
- Lubbock Fine
- Moore Kingston Smith
- RSM UK
- Saffery Champness
- Wheelhouse Advisors
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