True Potential LLP hosted the first ever North East Social Mobility Summit on Monday, with guest speakers David Harrison and Justine Greening MP imploring the UK’s new Prime Minister to make education and Social Mobility a priority on day one of the new government.
David and Justine set up the Social Mobility Pledge in March 2018, with the aim to encourage employers to work with local schools and colleges to offer apprenticeships and adopt open recruitment policies such as name-blind or “contextual” recruitment. Over 300 organisations have signed the Pledge, including Vodafone and Marks & Spencer. Over 2.6 million employees are now covered in the UK.
David has also founded the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, which is based at Sunderland’s Beacon of Light, where he has been helping youngsters learn the skills of entrepreneurship. Speaking at the North East Social Mobility Summit, David said “Social Mobility is about each generation being better than the previous generation. It’s about opportunity, it’s how society progresses.”
Following David’s speech, Justine Greening took to the podium, and used the occasion to launch her ‘Pathways to Progress’ report. “For successful business like True Potential, they’ve really understood that putting Social Mobility at the heart of your business is actually part of how you are successful.” she said. “It is crucial for governments to recognise that removing barriers for people getting on life is centre stage. Whoever the next Prime Minister is they must have a plan for fixing Britain’s Social Mobility.”
Following the speeches, local students from Sunderland were invited on to the stage by Justine and David. These students had been learning life skills at the Harrison Centre at the Beacon of Light, and David had challenged them to develop an app that would improve personal finance. The finale of the North East Social Mobility Summit recognised the efforts of these students, with David awarding the winning team ‘The Harrison Prize’, a cash prize, and the possibility of joining True Potential in an app development role.
Finally, Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer made an appearance via video-link, thanking David and True Potential CEO Daniel Harrison for all they have done in improving Social Mobility in the North East. Shearer had a challenge for the 250 True Potential staff in attendance at the summit – score as many penalty kicks as possible to fundraise for charities supported by the Social Mobility Pledge.
Amazingly, over £15,000 ended up being raised in the ‘Kick for Cash’ tournament. This was great entertainment for all involved, made even more fun when True Potential CEO Daniel Harrison treated all staff to 250 free Pizzas from the gourmet ‘Fire & Dough’ Pizza van. Amid glorious sunshine there were smiles all around for the fun filled occasion.
Meanwhile, David and Justine hosted a business roundtable to launch the ‘Pathway to Progress’ Social Mobility report. This event included some of the leading North-East business leaders, and topics included research on Social Mobility and how to address the lack of Social Mobility in the North East of England.
Concluding this fabulous day was a five a side game with Montagu & North Fenham Under 7s. This team is sponsored by the Harrison Centre for Social Mobility, and through a £10,000 donation will be travelling to Barcelona’s Nou Camp for a European U7s tournament. One of the players, Zack, has won a place at Sunderland FC Academy and two others, Alfie and Jake, have won places at the Newcastle United Academy.
This was a truly special day, with everyone involved going home with a huge smile and sense of empowerment towards Social Mobility in the UK. Thank you to Justine, David, Daniel, and everyone involved in making the North East Social Mobility Summit such a successful day.< Back to Blog