January - My first month as CEO at upReach coincides with new research showing children from more advantaged backgrounds are more likely to develop personality characteristics and aspirations which subsequently benefits them in the labour market.
Those from less-advantaged backgrounds tend to be at schools where there are fewer chances to develop soft skills due to less extra-curricular activities and a different classroom environment with larger class sizes and more behaviour issues.
Careers advice can be none-existent, which combined with a lack of a professional family network results in narrow career horizons, low aspirations and limited work experience opportunities. The research suggested they are more likely to experience stress and instability at home.
February - Six upReach Associates attend the Houses of Parliament to give evidence to a Government inquiry into Careers Advice, Information and Guidance. The upReach team deliver Skills Workshops to Associates on campus at five universities.
March - Archie Brixton, a former upReach Associate, and I sit on a panel giving evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility. upReach are selected by CAN to join their exclusive programme to accelerate social impact, and meet Rob Wilson MP, Minister for Civil Society, to discuss the new initiative.
April - upReach call for a £300m Independent School Pension Levy to end the teacher recruitment crisis and boost social mobility. I ask Nick Gibb, Minister for Schools, why a £500m per year government subsidy to private school teacher pensions exists, and am amazed when he told me this was to enable “fluidity between the sectors” - despite a net 2,000 teachers leaving state schools to work in private schools every year.
May - A record number of Associates secure graduate roles with our partner employers. Our Associates were on average five times more likely to be successful than an average applicant.
June - We create a unique technology partnership with JMAN Group and Aurum Info Solutions, maintaining upReach as the sector leader in using technology to deliver our service and measure engagement and impact.
In Autumn 2016, our Partner Employers hosted nine Insight Days for hundreds of Associates. We’re enormously grateful to our partner employers for providing these invaluable opportunities for our Associates to learn more about different careers.
July - Intensive two week training programme for our four new Programme Coordinators joining as part of our unique 30 month Future Charity Leaders Programme. Thanks to all involved including Sarah Webster, Dr Louise Ashley, Dr Sam Friedman, Trang Chu, Becky Dallison, the Behavioural Insights Team, McKinsey and our partner employers for contributing to an incredible training programme.
August - All of our 2015-16 Partner Employers and Universities renew their partnerships for the year ahead.
September - We welcome new Partner Employers, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and North Highland, and begin working with a variety of employers in other sectors our Associates are interested in.
October - Working with our Partner Universities, we take on a record 400 new Associates from less-advantaged backgrounds. Our new Advisory Board is established with a diverse group of high calibre stakeholders each with great experience in our sector and passion for social mobility.
November - upReach partner with Applied, the tool created by the Behavioural Insights Team to eliminate bias from recruitment, to launch our 2017 FCLP graduate scheme.
December - upReach launch new website. We are awarded a grant from BlackRock to enhance our mentoring platform and double the number of mentors we work with in 2017. upReach agree a new partnership with Nomura.