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RIBA to ‘lead by example’ on social mobility

The RIBA has pledged to boost social mobility within its ranks, joining a government ‘compact’ aimed at promoting fair access to the professions

Launched yesterday, the ‘Every Business Commits’ compact aims to boost accessibility by requiring participants to advertise internships ‘openly and transparently’ and to provide payment to interns.

The RIBA is hoping architects will follow its example and adapt their own work experience schemes to better suit the needs of people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

RIBA president Ruth Reed said: ‘The RIBA has signed-up wholeheartedly to the Government’s business compact on social mobility.

‘As an employer we will lead by example to incorporate it into our own business practice, and as the UK’s foremost architectural body we will continue to organise successful programmes promoting architecture to wider audiences, such as our “Architects in Residence” scheme in schools.’

Under the compact the RIBA pledges to:

1.    Support communities by:

  • participate in mentoring schemes for young people, allow staff time off and reward them for getting involved; and
  • encourage staff to join our campaign to get 100,000 people back into schools at least once a year to talk about their careers as part of a programme to raise aspiration and build knowledge of the world of work.

2.    Improve skills and create jobs by providing opportunities that allow all young people the chance to get a foot on the ladder:

  • advertise work experience opportunities in local schools rather than filling them through informal networks; and
  • offer internships openly and transparently and provide financial support to ensure fair access

3.    Improve quality of life and well-being by recruiting openly and fairly:

  • use name-blank and school-blank application forms to ensure non-discrimination.

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