A new initiative from the accountancy profession to improve social mobility

GCSE-aged pupils at some of the most-deprived schools in the UK will learn work and life-related skills in bespoke sessions designed to drive social mobility, in an initiative launched today by chartered accountancy body ICAEW and five of the larger professional services firms.

The programme, called Rise, will teach communication, problem-solving and teamwork skills to pupils in workshops at schools across the country. The scheme was founded by ICAEW, EY, KPMG, PwC, BDO and Grant Thornton and will be unveiled at a virtual event today. Deloitte and Mazars have also signed up to support Rise.

Rise was set up to raise the aspirations of young people from low socio-economic backgrounds by ensuring they have the skills required to succeed in life and work, irrespective of their background and future career choices.

Rather than simply encouraging young people to become accountants, Rise will focus on building a talented workforce for the future economy, and will be rolled out following a successful pilot scheme over the last year.

The initiative was also designed to help overcome the impact of the pandemic on education. Many pupils have had to catch up on their studies and missed out on important career development opportunities, such as work experience placements.

Rise aims to reach 3,000 pupils across 50 workshops in the 2021/22 academic year, with up to 60 young people participating in each session. The workshops, which will commence next spring, will be targeted at more-deprived schools in disadvantaged areas with fewer opportunities.

A report by the National Audit Office earlier this year found that funding for deprived schools in England had shifted to wealthy areas.

Rise will be delivered in collaboration with the educational charity Talent Foundry and some of the UK’s top accountancy firms.

The first workshops will be delivered by the Talent Foundry and volunteers from the partner accountancy firms.

The best thing was engaging in conversation with professionals and the different skill-building tasks.


Student, London

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Being involved in Rise, you can:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to improving social mobility
  • Make a significant change to the career prospects of young people in the UK
  • Share best practice and learn from other organisations involved
  • Widen the future talent pool

Please note: If you are a teacher, please go to The Talent Foundry to find out if your school is eligible.