To mark Careers in Ideas Week (16-22 November 2020), we’ve been running a series of posts featuring relevant charities and community interest groups. All of these have an interest in promoting social mobility as well as, in many cases, other forms of diversity.

They’ve kindly provided information about the work each of them does and how the IP professions can get involved. Their suggestions will help you identify opportunities to give back to the community whilst also improving diversity within the IP sector – and ensure that the support you provide reaches the right people, in the right way.

Here we feature The Sutton Trust, who work to improve access to careers in the law, banking and finance, engineering, and medicine, specifically for those from less privileged backgrounds. Among other things, they publish an incredibly useful employer’s guide to social mobility in the workplace, which as you’ll see below, they’re keen to share with IP sector employers.

You can access a full Careers in Ideas directory of outreach organisations here, and read more about the listed organisations on our Careers in Ideas Week page.


What does The Sutton Trust do to improve social mobility and access to the professions?

The Sutton Trust champions social mobility from birth to the workplace so that every young person – no matter who their parents are, what school they go to, or where they live – has the chance to succeed in life. Using our distinctive “do-tank” model, we support beneficiaries directly through our programmes whilst simultaneously publishing research and policy recommendations that keep Britain’s social mobility challenge high on the agenda for government and the media.

“Joining the pathways programme has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I send the biggest thank you to all of the team, you truly have changed my future for the better and have given me an amazing experience and I could not be more grateful.” Pathways participant

The goal of Pathways to the Professions is to provide students with the knowledge and skills that will put them in the best possible place to secure work in their chosen profession. Founded in 2006 with the launch of Pathways to Law, the programmes have expanded significantly over the past five years, as part of our strategy to improve access to the workplace, and now also cover banking and finance, engineering and medicine.

Pathways programmes run over two years, starting when students are just heading into Sixth Form. Each strand follows a similar format with the key component being a substantial piece of work experience enabling students to gain a real insight into working in their respective fields. This is supported by a programme of after-school and weekend events, e-mentoring throughout the course of the programme, networking events and a summer residential.

Do you focus on any particular under-represented groups?

We recruit students on our programmes based on social mobility markers (eg being first in their family to go to university or attending a school with low rates of progression to higher education). We also track gender and ethnicity as part of our independent evaluation.


What can IP sector organisations do to help you?

You can become a Pathways supporter, providing work placements, insight sessions, joining networking sessions or hosting a spotlight session during our annual conference. You can also share relevant jobs and opportunities with our alumni community.

You can become a strategic employability partner by investing in our work championing social mobility alongside volunteering, and can read more about why Boult Wade Tennant has decided to work together with the Trust at

For more information, visit


What can individual professionals do to help?

Become a social mobility advocate in your organisation by reading and sharing our employer guide:

You can also donate to support our work:


For more information…

…Visit the Sutton Trust website,, or contact Laura Solomons, Head of Donor Relations at [email protected].








Page published on 3rd December 2020
Page last modified on 3rd December 2020
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