Connor Elsey, a final-year Mechanical Engineering student, has been shortlisted for the Technology award at the Student Social Mobility Awards.

The awards, organised by social mobility charity upReach, celebrate the achievements, resilience, and determination of individuals facing socio-economic challenges.

Connor Elsey, third- year Mechanical Engineering student says he feels “grateful” to even be nominated

Connor said: “Growing up in a poor socio-economic estate impacted me when accessing higher education. Most of the people I was surrounded by did not attend university so entering higher education seemed like a far-away idea.”

He urged those from a similar background to take advantage of any support offered.

Speaking about the help he received from upReach, Connor said: “I learnt how to approach interviews and entering work, the 1-to-1 support has been great to iron out any small or large issues I was having, and the events allow you to learn to work within a team, public speaking and many more skills.”

He also stressed the importance of finding good role models to give “direction and a trajectory to plan your future career.”

“This is especially important when growing up in areas where it can be easy to go the wrong way.”

Nick Bent, CEO of upReach, said: “In the current economic climate, events like the Student Social Mobility Awards are more important than ever before. By spotlighting individuals who have, in spite of their socio-economic background, overcome immense challenges to succeed in their chosen career path, we can provide vital role models for the next generation.”

“Equally, it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the individuals and organisations working exceptionally hard to transform social mobility across the UK.”

Recent research from the Social Mobility Commission reveals “people from professional family backgrounds are 80% more likely to enter professional jobs compared to their less-advantaged peers.”

This year’s nominees and winners will be celebrated at Mansion House in London on 13 July.