Success stories

Speakers for Schools

In March 2020, youth social mobility charity Speakers for Schools introduced their ‘Virtual Work Experience’ programme. The programme aims to improve social mobility by making it easier for young people from UK state schools to access high quality work experience, regardless of background or location.

Thanks to the flexibility of virtual delivery, employers from different industries have been able to offer thousands more placements than would have been possible previously with Speakers for Schools moving from working with 50 employers to partnering with over 600 employers, delivering 50,000 free virtual placements to 14-19 year olds, drawn from 3,100 state secondary schools and colleges across the UK.  These opportunities have been offered to young people in communities where there is often a disconnect between young peoples’ aspiration and the presence of outstanding employers.

In January 2021, as part of the NHS Experience Nursing programme, 1,300 young people completed virtual placements. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive: 83.7% of the group said they felt better informed about the range of nursing careers available following their placement. Whilst more than half of the group said that they had already considered a career in nursing before their placement, a further 30.2% said they would consider a career in nursing after their placement.

Employers have also increased their reach to include the most geographically remote areas of the UK and been able to prioritise applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Early adopters say virtual delivery had also helped them to better engage with young women and girls and ethnic minority communities .

Helen Clements of Morgan Sindall Construction said the programme “had far exceeded our expectation on the impact it had on the young people. Students have said it was “the best week of their teenage lives”.

As restrictions ease, Speakers for Schools will offer all employers the option to run hybrid work experience programmes – as well as in-person placements – so that they can continue to reach those with the highest need.

Latest news and blogs

Storytelling to support social mobility

Storytelling is a powerful tool to support your organisation’s social mobility strategy. It can help colleagues to understand the challenges others have faced, helps leaders to understand how they can help and promotes an inclusive, trust-based culture. Ahead of our employers’ masterclass ‘The art of using storytelling to build inclusion’ we asked Shannon Miller, from […]

Read full story

Latest Linkedin


📢 OUT NOW: The latest #SocialMobilityTalks podcast!

In episode 2, Alun Francis and 3 expert guests debate the pros and cons of contextualised recruitment and admissions.

Listen now on Spotify and Apple Podcasts, or watch the video on Youtube!


Find out more

Latest Tweets