The Aldridge Foundation is urging the Commission to add a greater focus on developing enterprise skills in primary and secondary education, and on valuing entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social mobility to its welcome recommendations.
Shona Nichols, the Aldridge Foundation’s CEO said: “As a charity which supports and inspires young people from challenging communities to fulfil their potential, achieve their ambitions and live rewarding lives we know that change begins with, and should continue throughout, education.”
The Social Mobility Commission’s report makes it clear that inequality is ‘deeply entrenched’ in Britain. It makes for damming reading as to the current state of educational equality in Great Britain and reflects exactly the situation which the Aldridge Foundation seeks to turn around.
We welcome the commission’s emphasis on education as the vital tool for enabling higher social mobility levels; ensuring young people are equipped with the skills they need to succeed. However, the Foundation wants to shine a light on three further areas, a greater focus on primary and secondary education, the development of life and enterprise skills, and the value of entrepreneurship as a vehicle for social mobility.
The report highlights the ongoing need to support a fairer, more inspiring and enterprising education system. Whilst supporting the Commission’s call for more funding towards 16-19 year olds, the Foundation believes that the focus should be equally on both primary and secondary age groups as, in isolation, action at 16-19 can often be too late to enact real change.
Furthermore, the Foundation would add to the Commission’s recommendations on educational policy an emphasis on embedding life and enterprise skills, such as teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity, which employers are calling for and which are integral to the Foundation’s educational initiatives. These skills are critical in enabling better employability and life chances for the disadvantaged young people focussed on in this report.
Alongside the Commission’s focus on apprenticeships, entrepreneurship must also be highlighted, supported, and valued as a career pathway and a route to greater social mobility.
The Foundation believes change begins with an inspiring and enterprising education, giving disadvantaged young people the belief that they can find brilliance within themselves if they are given the chance.”