Supporting your students to access the professions. Dr Morag McIvor (Senior Widening Participation Officer)

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1 Supporting your students to access the professions Dr Morag McIvor (Senior Widening Participation Officer)

2 Learning outcomes Identify the barriers that young people face in accessing the professions Evaluate the relative success of existing initiatives designed to widen access to the professions Consider how schools and universities can work together to address the issue of access to the professions

3 Why Access to the Professions? Huge growth in professional employment after WWII was the engine that made Britain such a mobile society. Since then social mobility has slowed down Evidence that the long-running decline in social mobility has bottomed out. Big growth in professional jobs is creating the conditions for a second great wave of social mobility in the near future

4 Who are the professions? There is no single definition of the professions but typically they have: Recognisable entry points Codes of ethics Systems for self-regulation A strong sense of vocation and professional development. Over 130 different professional sectors in the UK 11 million people Engineering (5.6 million) Healthcare (1.4 million) Local government (2.6 million) Finance and insurance (1.1 million). Accountancy (286,000) Law (around 165,000)

5 Milburn Report Government commissioned a report in 2009 to investigate 1) how accessible the professions were 2) to advise on how we can make a professional career genuinely open to as wide a pool of talent as possible The report Unleashing Aspiration made 88 recommendations to professions, employers, universities, schools and government Collaboration between these groups is essential

6 How accessible are the professions? The typical professional grew up in a family with an income well above the average family s: Today s younger professionals (born in 1970) typically grew up in a family with an income 27% above that of the average family, compared with 17% for today s older professionals (born in 1958). Lawyers born in 1970 grew up in families with income 64% higher than the average family. Doctors born in 1970 grew up in a family with an income 62% above that of the average family. Journalists born in 1970 typically grew up in families with an income 42.2% above that of the average family, compared with 5.5% for those born in 1958 Private school and Oxbridge educated students are disproportionally represented in the professions, in particular the bar, judiciary, civil service, medicine and journalism. Women are significantly underrepresented in Engineering (14% students) and in senior posts in Medicine (57% med students, 40% of all doctors, only 28% of consultants)

7 How accessible are the professions? If action is not taken to reverse the historical trend, it would mean that: The typical professional of the future will now be growing up in a family that is better off than seven in ten of all families in the UK. The typical doctor or lawyer of the future will today be growing up in a family that is better off than five in six of all families in the UK The typical journalist or accountant of the future will today be growing up in a family that is better off than three in four of all families in the UK The typical engineer or teacher of the future will today be growing up in a family that is better off than two in three of all families in the UK

8 What are the barriers to the professions? Location - in London over half the workforce are in professional/managerial jobs, in the North East it is only one third. Gender despite the narrowing of the gender pay gap, the top professional jobs still tend to go to men. Ethnicity - despite increasing numbers of people from BME backgrounds in professional jobs, many professions are still unrepresentative of society Money - more and more middle class children, not just working class ones, will miss out. Closed-Shop Mentality class background can still determines life chances.

9 What happened? Progress report 2012 Civil Service, Legal Sector, Medicine, Journalism, Politics The glass ceiling has been scratched but not broken. Despite some pockets of considerable progress the professions have done too little to catch up - mainly minor changes in the social composition of the professions. At the top especially, the professions remain dominated by a social elite.

10 Law Citizenship Foundation - National Mock Trial Competition PRIME - a group of 75 of the UK s largest law firms commited to provide work experience Legal Access Week and other work experience programmes Mentoring programmes for law students from lower socio-ec backgrounds Annual careers days to encourage students to apply to university Work with Year 6 pupils building literacy and numeracy skills Inner Temple Schools Project Pathways to Law Summer placement schemes e.g. Addleshaw Goddard LLP - Legal Access Scheme.

11 Medicine Some parts of the NHS have formalised their work experience programmes. E.g City Hospitals Sunderland has a dedicated work experience team. They offer a clinical taster week for year olds and work experience for year olds. Some hospitals use waiting lists for work experience opportunities but it can sometimes take a year for an registrant to work their way up the list, by which time it may be too late. Many GPs do not like taking work experience students as they are often worried about confidentiality issues, patients opinions and there is also often an issue with age.

12 Civil Service and Politics Civil Service Fast Stream widening recruitment to more universities, not just Russell Group Civil Service Fast Stream coaching programme to help young people make a successful application Civil Service 300 work experience placements made available through centrally co-ordinated schemes in Whitehall departments every year House of Lords schools outreach programme Speaker s Parliamentary Placements Scheme eight months placement in Parliament paid according to the Parliamentary pay scale with housing support Government and Social Mobility Foundation two-week residential scheme for year placed in gov departments and stay in university accommodation in London

13 Journalism and the Media BBC Vision Intake Pool entry-level programme designed to develop a more diverse pool of talent within the organisation BBC Mentor Project ITV ten-day work experience programme aimed at year olds. Those who display an interest in a career in media can return at a later date for a specific placement and apply for ITV s apprenticeship scheme.

14 What happened? Progress report 2012 Universities Collaboration national effort Schools to raise standards and aspirations amongst all their pupils. Careers services to provide inspiration and encourage ambition. Government to pursue policies that enable people from the widest range of backgrounds to be able to go to university and to devote more of our national wealth to higher education. Universities to pursue approaches that broaden the range of people they recruit as students.

15 What are universities doing? Life-cycle approach: getting ready, getting in, staying in, getting on Starting younger: primary Specific Access to the Professions focus Collaboration with the Professions GMC Selecting for Excellence Guidelines Corporate Social Responsibility activities with firms such as Law/Banking/Accountancy/Media/Engineering

16 What should schools be doing? Schools should place new emphasis on providing a range of expanded extra-curricular activities. Schools should ensure that pupils from Year 6 upwards have a record of achievement that brings together all their extra-curricular and soft skill activity. Schools should broker information and advice for children, and also for parents who have not attended university themselves. Schools, colleges and professions should work in partnership to produce career prospectuses and online information sources aimed at parents.

17 How can schools and universities work together? Collaborative working Correct advice BTECs and Law/Medicine Work experience organisation and support how to write about it Soft skills and social capital Collaborative events with universities and employers pupils get the whole view

18 Group discussion 1. What do you currently do to support students to enter professional careers? 2. What is missing and how might universities help?

19 Feedback

20 Recommendations for schools Contact local universities to find out about outreach programmes Contact local NNCO: Investigate what the professions themselves are offering Work collaboratively with universities and the professions

21 Any questions? Please feel free to contact me on

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