How effective new social mobility schemes can inspire students and law firms alike
Many law firms have a tradition of supporting young people at local schools and colleges to access the world of work – and Simmons & Simmons is no different. Indeed, in recent years we have achieved some good results, but employee engagement has often been irregular, and working with several colleges has made it difficult to measure the impact of our programmes. We therefore decided 12 months ago to try to weave our social mobility programmes much more deeply into the firm's culture, aiming to inspire more volunteers to participate on an ongoing basis, but also to create a programme where we felt we were really making a small difference. Underpinning this aim was a wish to develop a longer-term relationship with the students and the schools we work with, and a new approach to school partnering. Teaming up with the Twist Partnership, we have begun an ambitious new programme with Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow. This is a mixed, multi-faith school, with significantly above regional average numbers of students eligible for free school meals. It is also – deliberately – a school that is located in a London borough outside the usual catchment area for City businesses.
Developing Simmons & Simmons’ Young Talent programme was challenging but worthwhile, says Colin Passmore
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