UK companies of all sizes are being called upon to make jobs available to young people from all walks of life. This appeal is at the core of the Opening Doors campaign launched by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who has partnered with entrepreneur James Caan for the initiative. The aim is to ensure fair and open access to job opportunities for all talented young Britons, helping them on the way to their chosen career through the provision of work experience, internships and apprenticeships.
Reporting the news on its website, the National Apprenticeship Service said that more than 150 major UK companies had already joined the initiative. They have pledged to open their doors to any deserving young person regardless of his or her social background. As part of the campaign, Clegg has also asked Caan to set up the Opening Doors Award. Caan will do that together with Peter Searle, chief executive of leading UK recruiter Adecco Group. Caan and Searle will act as judges and the awards will be handed out later this year, recognising companies that have done exceptional work in levelling the playing field for all young Britons in search of work opportunities.
Judging by the findings of a YouGov survey, Opening Doors is definitely needed. Conducted for the campaign, the research produced results indicating that young Britons from underprivileged backgrounds find it harder to access work opportunities in the industry of their choice. Among representatives of higher social grades, 33% of people aged 16 to 25 said they were already working in their chosen industry. However, this applied to only 5% of young Brits in lower social grades.