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University of Greenwich partners with Rt Hon Justine Greening to play its role in the COVID-19 national recovery

TLDRoffon

Former Education Secretary Justine Greening is working with the University of Greenwich to protect opportunities and boost social mobility.

The partnership comes as research shows 80% of people are concerned that there will be fewer available job opportunities for young people nationwide over the next year.*

Meanwhile separate analysis reveals some communities already suffering most from a lack of social mobility now look set to be hit hardest by the economic fallout following the
coronavirus.**

Justine Greening set up the Social Mobility Pledge in 2018 to tackle Britain's widespread lack of social mobility.

By signing the Pledge, businesses and universities commit to enhancing opportunities by working with local schools; offering training and apprenticeships; and by adopting fair recruitment policies.

More than 500 organisations representing over seven million people have signed the Social Mobility Pledge. This includes over 50 universities with more than two million students
represented.

The partnership between Justine Greening and the University of Greenwich will include the development of an Opportunity Action Plan to level up Britain in the wake of COVID-19.

The plan will share the University of Greenwich's work to level up opportunities within its organisation and its local communities. The plan will also set out how the university plans to go further and play its role in Britain's national recovery from COVID-19 amid warnings of a rise in youth unemployment.

Rotherham-born Ms Greening herself benefited from social mobility, becoming the first Secretary of State for Education to have gone to a comprehensive school and local FE
college.

Justine Greening said: "With a million young people due to enter the workplace this summer, many are seeing their life prospects drastically downgraded, with jobs and job offers disappearing. Meanwhile, massive demand for reskilling and career shifting support is building up.

"Well defined purpose together with a strong culture and leadership have marked out those organisations which have taken the right decisions in response to the crisis, from those
which have not. The challenge now, and one that the University of Greenwich has stepped up to, is for Britain's businesses and universities to play their role in boosting opportunity and social mobility as part of our national recovery.

"I'm looking forward to working with the University of Greenwich on their Opportunity Action Plan. They are committed to making a difference and levelling up Britain. I hope many others will follow their example."

University of Greenwich's Vice Chancellor, Professor Jane Harrington said: "We're delighted to be partnering with Justine Greening and the Social Mobility Pledge. Partnerships like this drive real change and have a tangible impact on lives in the local area and University of Greenwich is always looking for ways to give back to the amazing local communities it is honoured to be part of."

"Social mobility and inclusivity are core principles and values of our university. We believe that change must come and we are wholeheartedly committed to improving ourselves and encouraging others to make the necessary changes to move towards a fairer society."

"As we move through the current pandemic and look towards the future, social mobility must remain at the forefront of the recovery, with universities playing a key role in it. And we, at the University of Greenwich, are ready and proud to work together with the Social Mobility Pledge and take that role."

Members of the University's community have been contributing the national effort from the outset of the pandemic.