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News & Insights

How do firms embrace the challenges around social mobility? – Part 2

03 February 2022
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Financial firms are creating training programs that work towards this specific goal. For instance, Goldman Sachs will start training apprentices directly on its London trading floor for the first time next year, fuelling wider efforts to boost social mobility in the UK financial sector. It is a programme that is part of an apprenticeship scheme launched in partnership with Queen Mary University of London. It will combine students from less privileged backgrounds with paid on-the-job training and study over four years, offering candidates the opportunity to gain practical experience in a sector. The scheme opened for recruitment in December 2021, just a year after the aforementioned taskforce was launched. Social mobility is also critical to the work of the FCA and the firms they regulate in terms of culture and governance, particularly for boards and senior management. Despite years of discussion surrounding social mobility, diversity and inclusion, the conversation is still in its infancy and the financial sector has a long way to go in order to achieve real change.

In order to generate change, firms can begin by developing a social mobility strategy, changing the questions they ask across hiring for entry routes, evaluating existing employees and embracing lateral hiring. For entry level roles, firms can seek to understand how their organisation is engaging with people through entry routes. This can include graduate programmes, internships and apprenticeships. For current employees, companies can consider evaluating potential candidates to include enabling socio-economic diversity.

Wheelhouse Advisors has planned a series of events in 2022 to support our clients, partners and other companies we work with. We understand the financial services industry is facing a challenge, and like the FCA, we intend to work collaboratively to boost social mobility, diversity and inclusion. Wheelhouse Advisors aims to be part of the narrative that brings social mobility into the long term industry wide conversation.