COUNTY MP Nigel Huddleston has endorsed a scheme to increase social mobility and grant better opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mr Huddlestone is encouraging businesses and Universities throughout Worcestershire and the West Midlands to sign up.

The Social Mobility Pledge brings together Higher Education bodies, employers and a cross-party group of MPs with the aim of improving social mobility right across the country.

The pledge was founded in 2018 by former Education Secretary, Justine Greening MP, and so far over 250 employers have signed up.

The pledge encourages businesses to provide structured work experience opportunities and apprenticeships to people from disadvantaged backgrounds and to adopt an open employee recruitment practice to promote a level playing field for applicants.

Following a discussion with Justine Greening about the pledge, Mr Huddleston said: “Education and skills training are key enablers of social mobility so I encourage businesses large and small, and academic institutions to sign up to the pledge.

"It was great to hear some of the success stories that have already been achieved as a result of employers signing up to the pledge.

"I am aware that we can do more to enable social mobility in my own constituency, and whilst central government funding is important in helping unlock people’s potential.

"Businesses are also a vital driver of increasing the opportunities available to young people and for enabling social mobility to take place.

"I encourage companies across Worcestershire, large or small, to look at signing up."

According to the Social Mobility Pledge, only one in eight children from low-income backgrounds is likely to become a high-income earner as an adult.

In addition, five elite schools sent more pupils to Oxford and Cambridge than nearly 2,000 schools last year, which make up two thirds of the entire state secondary school sector.

When signing up to the pledge, business promise that they will adopt open employee recruitment practices to level the playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.