Stewarts has renewed its commitment to social mobility, partnering with coaching programme Future Frontiers to mentor sixth form pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Thirteen volunteers from Stewarts provided six hours of one-to-one coaching each, assisting pupils from St Anne’s Catholic High School in Enfield and Central Foundation Girls’ School Sixth Form in Tower Hamlets. The firm’s volunteers helped students find professional contacts in industries as diverse as investment banking, journalism, medicine and more. Ninety-three percent of pupils involved in the programme agree that their coach helped them find an inspirational career.
“It was wonderful to see coaches using their expansive networks to put pupils in contact with Sector Role Models in the industries they were most interested in,” Future Frontiers Programme Manager Jamey Street said. “Stewarts’ volunteers displayed a brilliant attitude towards bringing about positive change at such a challenging time.”
In 2020, Stewarts signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge, promising to:
- provide coaching to school or college pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds
- offer work experience opportunities to young people who may not otherwise be able to access them, and
- promote a level playing field in all recruitment practices.
Future Frontiers offers the support needed to ensure young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to fulfil their full potential at school, and when transitioning into other forms of education, employment or training at the ages 16-18.
This is achieved through providing guidance, networking opportunities and face-to-face coaching by business professionals and aspiring role models such as doctors, criminal barristers and in sectors such as journalism and investment banking.
Research shows at the age of 16, two in three disadvantaged young people fail to achieve basic entry requirements to progress beyond their GCSEs. This makes them twice as likely to drop out of education and, as a result, many are unable to receive the qualifications they need to attend university. This knock-on effect means in adult life, four in five disadvantaged individuals earn below the “just about managing threshold”.
Through Stewarts’ partnership with Future Frontiers, 13 volunteers from our team have worked with year 12 pupils from Central Foundation Girls School and St Anne’s Catholic High School, providing a total of 78 hours of career coaching.
At Central Foundation Girls’ School Sixth Form, which is located in Tower Hamlets, London’s second most deprived borough, 58% of its students are classified as economically disadvantage. St Anne’s Catholic High School in Enfield, 33% of students are.
Future Frontiers has produced positive outcomes, with 93% of students agreeing their coach has helped them find an inspirational career. While 100% of pupils now believe they will be able to reach the career that inspires them.
In addition, 100% of pupils now feel they are able to find out the information they need about universities and apprenticeships, compared to 46% before receiving coaching.
All Stewarts’ volunteers participating in the programme felt proud that the firm is supporting young people during the current crisis and would actively encourage Stewarts to repeat the initiative in the future. All pupils involved in the scheme agreed that their knowledge, skills and self-belief grew as a result of the coaching.
“I would like to extend a huge thank you to the leaders and staff at Stewarts for their commitment to our young people over the last few months,” Future Frontiers founder and CEO Dominic Baker said. “With the right guidance – at the right time – we can empower young people to achieve at school and make choices that will open doors to the careers of their choice.”
Support for the pupils involved in this programme will continue long-term. School staff will take on the development plans created in conjunction with Stewarts volunteers, and the Future Frontiers team will provide ongoing support to these schools.
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