Fairer Futures "Now more than ever we need a media in which the voices of young working class people are heard. The work RECLAIM is doing in this area is invaluable. It’s bringing together young people and providing them with confidence, networks and opportunities. It’s also reminding those of us who work in the industry of our responsibility to do what we can to encourage, support and nurture the tremendous talent out there, for all our sakes." – Robert Bright, writer and editor. Fairer Futures is RECLAIM’s first national project, bringing together young people from working class communities, employers and organisations across the UK. The project aims to bring about long term social change by diversifying the background of national decision makers, leaders and influential figures. By increasing the number of people in these positions from working class communities, we can ensure key decisions are based on a range of life experiences and better reflect the needs of our diverse communities nationally. There is much discussion about social mobility, but there has been little inclusion of working class young people in the development of policies affecting them. Fairer Futures ensures that young people with lived experience of the day to day barriers they face are at the centre of developing new solutions. We are working directly with employers and organisations to develop a range of solutions based on the recommendations of our manifesto [link]; and are also engaging with political representatives in order to influence wider change. Who is it for? This work is primarily focussed on working class young people aged 18-24, the group most likely to encounter significant issues around access to work and subsequent career development. However, our findings have already highlighted the relevance of pre-employability support as well as longer term leadership development support. "People should be judged on their ability and nothing else. Only when barriers such as social class no longer have an effect on the leadership progression of individuals will society achieve its moral obligation of meritocracy" – Jesse, Fairer Futures Ambassador What are we doing? Our initial focus is the business, media and politics sectors, however the barriers faced – and solutions developed - may be universal. We have interviewed employers interested in social mobility to understand the current challenges and identify best practice in diversifying the workforce beyond gender and ethnicity. We also conducted a national survey of young people to understand their perceptions and experience, and worked with a core group of young people who produced a Manifesto for Fairer Futures. This manifesto identifies the key areas employers should address in order to tackle barriers and strengthen their workforce. We launched the manifesto in November 2016 – read more here [link]. What do we want to achieve? By bringing the voices and experience of working class young people to employers and organisations interested in social mobility, RECLAIM’s Fairer Futures aims to: Develop innovative solutions in partnership with employers and other organisations; Challenge and enable employers and organisations nationally to implement effective measures to diversify their workforce in terms of social class; Lead from the front as the first accredited Fairer Futures employer; Influence policy makers nationally, ensuring they include the experience and opinions of young people when making decisions.