City College Shortlisted for the UK Social Mobility Awards

17 July 2017 | College News

City College is celebrating being the only further education provider to be shortlisted for the inaugural UK Social Mobility Awards.

The UK Social Mobility Awards celebrate and recognise the forward-thinking organisations that are developing initiatives to promote social mobility, within their own workforce, or by influencing the debate from beyond its own walls. By raising awareness and celebrating the people and organisations that are committed to bringing about change, the hope is to advance the practical implementation of social mobility in this country.

The awards, which are sponsored by PwC and the Royal Air Force, and organised by leading social mobility charity, Making The Leap, received an impressive array of entries. There are 11 award categories, four individual and seven organisational, selected to focus on those areas where a real difference can be made by taking the right actions. The shortlist represents a range of sectors and industries who have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives. City College entered into six categories and have been named as finalists in four. The College is up against a range of well-known companies, including the ITV, Barclays, the Bank of England, KPMG and O2.

Despite national competition from these well-known companies, College Principal and Chief Executive, Phil Davies, has been shortlisted for Champion of the Year – an award that celebrates a senior leader who has had the imagination to ‘think big’. Julie McLean, Director of Work-based Learning and Schools Partnerships, is in the running for the Outstanding Achievement Award – an accolade that recognises those that have been on a journey to change our society for the better, displaying an outstanding, long-term commitment to social mobility issues.

Representing the growing trend for Apprenticeships, City College apprentice, Chloe Causer, has been nominated by her employer Plymouth City Council for the Rising Star of the Year Award, which acknowledges those who are still in the early stages of their career, but are the role models of the future. The final nomination is for Impact Management Programme of the Year recognising organisations that have developed a way to use data so that it does not merely track what they do, but that sees what happens as a result of what they do, with Gareth Walton, Skills Development Lecturer, nominated for designing and developing a system to electronically record and recognise progress and achievement for young people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Phil Davies said: “To be shortlisted for four Social Mobility awards up against some well-established global companies is an amazing achievement for City College. We are very proud to be recognised as an institution that promotes change. At the College we aim to consistently deliver training programmes which support our City in its growth, and develop students with the kind of skill sets which are going to set them apart in the contemporary job market. We want to bridge the gap between education and employment which has the power to transform our region’s prosperity and create a new generation of ambitious and enterprising individuals.”

Opening the Sutton Trust 2017 Mobility Summit on Wednesday, Education Secretary, Justine Greening, spoke of social mobility as being an issue of profound urgency for the country. “It is a simple, but powerful concept – that everybody should have the chance to be the best version of themselves that they can be. They should live in a country where not only they can be the best version of themselves through the education they get, but that there is a business community – a wealth of careers out there – that allows them to then fulfil that potential. Social mobility is how we can unlock and enable potential.”

Chair of the Judging Panel, Ken Olisa OBE, who is also the HM Lord Lieutenant of London, said: “Pick up any newspaper or check out any social media thread and you will read arguments about increasing inequality in our country. And worse, much of the blame is laid at the feet of business. Yet this depressing backdrop is far from the whole picture – happily there are many pioneering organisations doing something to reverse the apparent tide. These awards will identify and recognise those leaders with the hope that this will become the start of a movement for change.”

The judging panel includes prominent figures from business, charity, politics and the public sector. The winners will be announced at an awards gala on Thursday 12 October at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.

To study at the City’s only shortlisted College, visit or call 01752 305300 for further information.

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