In 2015, the UN developed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which are a call to action for all countries, in a global partnership that focuses on issues such as gender equality, climate action and poverty.
The 2015 Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Justine Greening, determined that we would need a similar set of goals in Britain, with the same outcomes, but through different solutions, if we were to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
Through the Social Mobility Pledge, a purpose-led campaign to ensure organisations are committed to social mobility, Justine worked with businesses, universities and cross-party MPs to produce the 14 Levelling Up Goals.
The work we do at Uptree puts young people first and, through this, we are working towards many of the Levelling Up Goals in a push to increase social mobility and provide opportunities for young people from underrepresented backgrounds. By contributing to the Levelling Up Goals we are helping to close the gap and become a more equal UK.
So where is our impact?
3. Positive Destinations Post 16+
At Uptree, our work not only provides teachers with the right tools to educate students on careers but we also enable students themselves to make guided choices on their future careers options.
By offering work experience days, our Get Employed series and unique Uptree placement opportunities, we help young people make informed choices about their next steps, whilst providing them with information about roles and opportunities available through our partner companies.
One example of the work we do that meets Levelling Up Goal 3 is supporting some of our partners to demystify alternatives to university.
Many of our network do go on to university but for some their preferred way of learning and preference to get into a job straight away means an apprenticeship is perfectly suited. We provide our network with visibility of the amazing alternatives to universities that are out there, to help them learn and create positive post 16 destinations that really work for them.
Already in 2021, we’ve had 5 Uptree students secure roles at companies, varying from degree apprenticeships, apprenticeships and full-time roles to university summer internships!
4. Right Advice and Experiences
Many of our team are ex-teachers, so we understand the time constraints teaching staff are under.
That’s why we deliver teacher CPD sessions
These sessions give teachers the skills to provide careers advice, signpost and share knowledge on application processes, assessment centres and more. We are providing up-to-date labour market information from industry leaders and top UK employers, straight to teachers, and then onto our young people.
For students who do not have a professional network at home, or parents who don't have the resources to help with applications, it’s vital that we provide teachers with the tools they need to support all students through their early career journey.
Alongside this, we also deliver assemblies and workshops straight to students, on behalf of our employer partners, providing them with information about different sectors and opportunities which allows them to make their own informed career decisions.
5. Open recruitment
At Uptree, we have made it our mission to ensure all students have an equal chance at their chosen career.
We work with schools across the UK and use many metrics of disadvantage to make sure we are partnering with schools whose students need our help the most. Through our online platform, assemblies, workshops and work experience days, we provide these students with the network, experience, connections and tools to succeed in the application process.
Our experience has taught us that many of our students do not have family who can give them a foot up the career ladder, so making recruitment fairer in this way is key to what we do. Through this, we are improving access to entry-level roles and opening companies up to the best talent out there.
10. Closing the digital divide
Young talent is everywhere, however it is often the barriers to entry that remain too high for so many. We partner with a variety of companies in different sectors, to solve this issue and in particular, drive the closing of the skills gap in technology and STEM roles.
As elements of technology such as AI and machine learning advance and move into our everyday lives, we are seeing more and more companies (and not just technology companies!) hiring with tech-based skills in mind. We work with many of our partners, such as Arm, to inspire and educate young people about roles in STEM, with a particular focus on young females in STEM.
Through our work experience days, schools outreach and careers learning platform, we are demystifying careers in STEM and helping more young people to make future proof career choices.
14. Achieve equality, through diversity and inclusion
One of our Uptree values is ‘Inclusivity at our core’, so we understand the importance of creating a level playing field. Our founder and CEO Tamsin Dewhurst has said:
‘It is our aim to build a student network that is representative of the communities in which we work and live. We focus our outreach on schools catering to high numbers of young people from low-income communities to help level the playing field.’
Our mission is to provide talented young people, from all backgrounds, opportunities to connect with the world of work, build a network and boost their future career prospects. We work alongside many of our employer partners, who are passionate about diversity in their organisations, to spread the word about their brand and attract diverse, talented young people to their amazing opportunities.
The big picture
Alongside these 5 key points, we are indirectly contributing to many of the other Levelling Up Goals through the impact we are having. As we work to democratise careers education, we are positively impacting other corners of society and young people's lives, boosting social mobility and improving the future outlook for students we work with.
In the wake of Covid-19, career uncertainty for young people in particular is accelerating, so working to provide knowledge, experiences and opportunities has never been more important.
If you would like to find out more about the work we are doing, you can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org