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Citypress partners with The Social Mobility Foundation in a bid to improve social diversity in the PR and communications industry

26th March 2024

Citypress will provide structured three and six-month undergraduate and post-graduate internships exclusively to the Foundation’s candidate base. Internships will be paid at National Living Wage alongside a living costs subsidy that will support candidates with commuting and city centre living.

To further support the charity, The Social Mobility Foundation will also become a client of Citypress Gives – the agency’s pro bono arm which provides communications support to a range of charitable organisations – with a brief to amplify its pioneering research into social mobility, campaigning work and social media activity.

Martin Currie, Chief Executive of Citypress, said: “Social diversity is often overlooked in our industry. We need to open up more pathways and make careers in comms far more accessible to candidates from lower socio-economic groups. It’s obviously the right thing to do, but it’s also means your talent reflects your clients’ colleagues and customers, which is only going to lead to better thinking and ultimately higher impact work.

“For us, this is part of a bigger and longer-term commitment to making employee-ownership matter – taking issues that our people care deeply about and making changes that can have some impact.

“The Foundation is doing some excellent work not only raising awareness of social mobility as part of the diversity debate, but elevating the dialogue around it and pushing for legislative change. We want to be part of that.”

Sarah Atkinson, Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be able to work with Citypress in creating opportunities for the outstanding students on our Aspiring Professionals Programme.

“We know that the workplace is as important as the classroom in creating social mobility. Ensuring that talented young people from all backgrounds have access to quality, paid internships is vital to ensure that they can gain invaluable career insight and mentorship without the need for personal contacts or funds to cover travel and accommodation costs.

“We are excited to benefit from Citypress’ expertise and increase the impact of our campaigns, with the aim of breaking down the structural barriers facing young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in education and employment.”

The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Foundation, said: “If the creative sector is to speak to the whole of society, then its workforce must reflect the breadth of people’s experiences. But those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds have long been underrepresented.

“There is a huge opportunity for forward-thinking employers to take the lead, benefitting from a more diverse range of voices and a wider pool of talent.”

Citypress’ other partnerships include immersive ‘work safaris with the Manchester Communications Academy, guests lectures for the University of Salford’s MA in Public Relations and Digital Communications, and training and mentoring with UA92.

To find out more about mentoring opportunities and joining the Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index – the leading authority on employer-led social mobility – visit their website: https://www.socialmobility.org.uk/

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