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Find a well-paid career whatever your economic background

Headlines on social mobility tell us that top universities and firms often recruit from a narrow elite.But family background and education are not the only indicators of career success. Employers are increasingly introducing social mobility initiatives and seeking out talent from across a wider pool of economic and social backgrounds.

Widening gap in earnings and employment

Data on earnings and employability points to a social mobility problem in the UK. A 2017 report by the Social Mobility Commissionreveals that people from working class backgroundscan be at a disadvantage. They earn less than those from affluent backgrounds in professional occupations.

The good news is that government and the best employers are acting to change this unequal situation. Primarily by seeking out employees from a wider range of backgrounds. Follow our five tips below to make sure your application stands out from the crowd, whatever your level of education.

Diversity adds value

Both the government and forward-thinking employers recognise the value of a diverse and inclusive workforce. Organisationsincreasingly understand that recruiting from a fully representative cross-section of societywill create a rich and dynamic environment for problem-solving and innovation.

VERCIDA provides the tools to support jobseekers from all backgrounds, to match their skills and experience to top careers with forward-thinking employers. Search our list of vacancies here.

Social mobility initiatives

Top employers –including the Department for Education and the Bank of England – now offer social mobility initiatives. Examples of these initiatives may include school- and university-blind recruitment, mentoring programmes or initiatives to support employees from diverse communities.

The 2018 report findings list the significant changes that are being made to recruitment processes at top employers, including:

  • Analysing recruitment processes to see where those from lower socio-economic groups might need additional support
  • Removing names of candidates or universities attended to level the playing field in shortlisting decisions
  • The setting of social mobility targets and monitoring how employees from lower socio-economic groups progress within their organisation (1 in 5 employers surveyed now do this)
  • 44% encourage firms in their supply chains to take action on social mobility
  • The participating employers run extensive outreach and apprenticeship programmes, collectively reaching: 3,125,086 young people through outreach, 21,764 through work experience and 8,468 through mentoring.

How to enhance your employability

Our job search lets you filter employers for social mobility initiatives, helping you to access a wealth ofgreat career opportunities. It’s worth remembering that, whatever the level of your education or role you are seeking, the application process itself is often very similar. Whether you are a school leaver just starting out or a graduate with some work experience, these five tips will increase your chances of a successful job hunt.

  • All paths lead to success

Nobody’s first job is their dream job. Be open to ‘stepping stone’ roles – for example, many junior administrative roles are valuable ways to access work-based training at the same time as gaining valuable work experience.

  • Widen your net

You may find an interesting opportunity by altering the field of work or location you’re searching in.

  • It’s all experience

Draw examples from holiday jobs and interests and hobbies where you have taken on responsibilities – e.g. being team captain or organising an event or trip away. Volunteering, work experience or an internship not only give you a chance to build skills and experience, but also open doors to work opportunities.

  • Customise your applications

Employers want to see candidates who have answered the specific criteria in the job description, researched the company and who understand how their experience and personal profile is a good match for the role.

  • Be positive

Employers look for candidates who display a can-do attitude, are enthusiastic and show a willingness to learn. It also helps to keep a positive attitude yourself throughout the application process – it will be easier to deal with little knocks along the way if you persevere, keep your job search live and see yourself as in it for the long game.

Search today for available vacancies with a wide range of compassionate employers, putting their people first.

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