Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant has thrown her support behind a project which aims to drive up social mobility.
The Aspiring Professionals Programme (APP) is run completely free of charge by the Social Mobility Foundation for Year 12 students interested in Accountancy, Banking & Finance, Engineering and Law. As part of the programme students undertake an internship and take part in fun evening and weekend activities aimed at boosting their confidence and building their professional skills. They also receive a dedicated mentor throughout and support continues after the programme to assist the young people through university and help them to obtain graduate jobs.
Historically the APP has been enormously successful with at least 60% of participants going to Russell Group Universities and 86% of students attributing their successful internship applications to SMF support.
Commenting on the launch of the 2017 programme Helen, who is a trustee of the Social Mobility Foundation, said, 'Social mobility is a cause which is enormously close to my heart. It is at the core of my political belief that everyone should have the opportunity to progress and do well in life irrespective of their gender, race, religion or economic background.
The SMF's Aspiring Professionals Programme is enormously successful. I would encourage any young person who is eligible to take this opportunity, it could be life changing.
I am enormously proud to be a trustee of the Social Mobility Foundation who do fantastic work to provide life chances to people from less privileged backgrounds. Being a trustee is an enormously rewarding responsibility and in this 'Trustees Week' I would encourage others to explore the possibility of taking on such a role and supporting one of our wonderful small and medium sized charities which do such essential work in Maidstone and the Weald.'
Mahnoor, who was on the 2016 Aspiring Professional Programme said, "Joining the SMF was the best decision I ever made right at the beginning of Year 12. I've had the most amazing experience meeting a diverse range of people from students, mentors, professionals, all of whom have taught me something valuable along the way. I've made contacts that may last a lifetime and developed my own skills to the point that my future career doesn't seem cloudy or out of reach as it had before I became an SMF student."
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