How Ipswich Town Football Club is helping to boost social mobility

ITFC’s director of sales Rosie Richardson and Jordan Holder, Enterprise Coordinator at The Careers &

ITFCs director of sales Rosie Richardson and Jordan Holder, Enterprise Coordinator at The Careers & Enterprise Company - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town Football Club is one of 11 employers to pledge commitment to improving future opportunities for young people in the town, regardless of their background.

The Portman Road club has become a ‘Cornerstone Employer’ as part of the government-backed Ipswich Opportunity Area initiative launched last month.

In 2017, Ipswich was identified as one of the lowest performing areas in England in a nationwide ‘Social Mobility Index.’

The index assessed the chances that a disadvantaged child (measured by whether they are eligible for free school meals) will perform well, and get a job. Ipswich ranked 292 out of the 324 local authority areas included.

The Careers & Enterprise Company is focusing on greater collaboration to bridge the gap between education and employers and ITFC, along with 11 other local organisations: BT Adastral Park, Barclays, East of England Co-operative, Ipswich Building Society, John Grose, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Sindall, Realise Futures and Suffolk County Council – has committed its support to making this happen.

As a result, Ipswich was selected as one of 12 ‘Opportunity Areas’ in England to receive an equal share of a £72 million funding pot to deliver plans that will help build the knowledge and skills of local young people and provide them with the best advice and opportunities to progress.

As a Cornerstone Employer, ITFC has committed to providing ‘enterprise advisers’ - senior business volunteers who work closely with a local school or college to help develop a practical careers plan.

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ITFC will also be offering work experience placements, career talks, engaging with their clients and supply chains to promote social mobility and acting as an ambassador and champion for social mobility in Ipswich.

Jordan Holder, Enterprise Coordinator at The Careers and Enterprise Company said: “I’m an Ipswich boy, and ITFC is a pillar of the local community and is respected and valued by so many young people in Ipswich,” he explained.

“Having them as one of our Cornerstone Employers recognises the commitments they are willing to make to young people and these include: work experience, mentoring, stadium tours, career talks and many more.”

ITFC’s director of sales Rosie Richardson said: “We’re delighted to be able to assist with this programme and offer support and ideas for those wanting to enter the work-place, it can be a daunting time and as one of the many Cornerstone employers, there will be a great range of opportunities and assistance available.”