A recent report shows the University of Lincoln’s involvement in improving social mobility in Lincolnshire.

The University’s work is intended to promote the notion that young people shouldn’t have to move to another city to gain opportunities.

Social mobility is the movement of people through various social classes.

The University has collaborated with The Social Mobility Pledge, which works globally to provide opportunities to employees and students.

As part of this, the University sponsors the Lincolnshire Educational Trust, an academy trust of primary, secondary and special educational needs schools in Holbeach and surrounding villages, to create an “ecosystem of opportunity”.

Over 2,500 young people from primary school to PhD level are being provided with academic and vocational qualifications, including a suite of degree apprenticeships.

The report states that Holbeach “scores high on the index of rural deprivation and faces several structural problems to its residents’ social mobility”.

Holbeach doesn’t have a train station and the closest one is a 30-minute bus journey away, so it’s pivotal that there are work and educational opportunities on the doorsteps of local residents.

The University’s work in such villages is intended to promote the notion that young people shouldn’t have to move to another city to gain opportunities.

Professor Toby Wilkinson, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Lincoln, said: “Working in partnership with the community and businesses in the south of Lincolnshire, the University of Lincoln is committed to enhancing educational opportunity, supporting innovation, and creating pathways into highly-skilled employment for local people.”

A success story of this involvement is that of Kyle Constable. Mr Constable is studying for a degree apprenticeship in Food and Drink Manufacturing Operations Management at OAL, a business that operates in partnership with the University of Lincoln and its National Centre for Food Manufacturing.

“Before joining OAL, I had been an apprentice with Nestlé, where I obtained my Level 3 apprenticeship,” Mr Constable said.

“Not only did this position fire up my passion for food manufacturing, it also fuelled my desire to obtain a degree. I contacted the National Centre for Food Manufacturing to find out more about their degree apprenticeship opportunities and was made aware of the position at OAL.”

As business leaders continue to look beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, there are likely to be many similar opportunities to close the opportunity gap.

By Adam Laver

News Editor at The Linc.