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Jobs pledge could benefit city students

Published on 18/09/18

Former education secretary Justine Greening encouraged Norwich pupils to think big about their futures during a visit to the city.

The MP visited the Hewett Academy as part of a nationwide tour to promote the Social Mobility Pledge, a new initiative to encourage employers to take on staff from a a wider range of backgrounds

Speaking to students at the school, she explained how the pledge could benefit them, and about how her own career aspirations had varied widely.

"When I was young I had a job working in the Morrisons cafe in Rotherham and because I spilt tea on customers and and wasn't very good I discounted retail as a career, but actually I could have pursued a different aspect doing marketing or finance in retail," she said.

"At one point I was interested in the police, and then I thought about jobs where I could earn lots of money. I ended up doing economics as a third A Level as I wasn't very good at physics, and found it something I enjoyed and was really good at, and my career went on from there."

During the visit she heard from students about their views on work experience and career planning.

She also heard about the academy's success in a competition organised by the Norwich Opportunity Area to suggest a way of increasing social mobility, won by students Shannon Boon, Molly Cooper, and Will Bach with their scheme to help parents improve their English language skills.

The Social Mobility Pledge was launched in March and has already attracted support from many large companies, with Norwich insurance firm Aviva joining as a founder member.

Companies pledge to partner with schools and colleges, provide access to apprenticeships and work experience, and use inclusive approaches to recruitment.