Too often work experience is for those with social connections and greater financial resources. A new initiative by charity RECLAIM and Kings Chambers is looking to change that. ‘Creating Connections’ will give eight young people from working-class communities the opportunity to enhance their employability skills and bridge the gap to jobs in law and business.

Creating Connections runs from 15 – 17 July.  Placements are being provided Kings Chambers, The Manchester Civil Justice Centre, Brabners Solicitors, Search Recruitment, Allied London, and Potter Rees Dolan Solicitors who are the first to pilot this initiative.

It comes as research from the government’s Social Mobility Commission recently revealed that only a third (34%) of people from working class backgrounds end up in professional jobs, compared with 60% of children with parents already working in these jobs[1]

Roger Harding, CEO of RECLAIM, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many local businesses commit to making Manchester a city whose opportunities are widely shared. The young people we work with are really excited to learn from them and will gain a lot from it. The learning will go both ways too, with the businesses involved keen to explore how else they can make the most of the amazing working class talent in this city.”

Nigel Poole QC, Head of Kings Chambers, said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with RECLAIM and other business partners to launch the Creating Connections initiative with the aim of giving working class young people access to work experience opportunities and contacts in the professional and business sectors in Manchester. Each young person will have the opportunity to experience a range of professions to which they might not ordinarily have access.

“Those who visit Kings Chambers will get a snapshot into the working life of a barrister and a taste of the environment in which we work. We’re hoping the initiative will result in the young people considering a career path they might never have thought of.

“The three-day initiative will culminate in a networking event hosted at Chambers which will give the students tips on CV writing, interview techniques and building connections. I very much hope that we can build on this initiative in years to come, so as to widen the opportunities for young people who may not have family or other connections with the professions.”

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/news/class-privilege-remains-entrenched-as-social-mobility-stagnates