Discussing Disadvantage: What is the role of socio-economic status in today’s graduate market?
MyKindaFuture’s core value is we believe in giving every young person equal power and opportunity to shape their future. Through this mission, we understand that not every young person has equal privilege and our aim is to even out the playing field for those who are more disadvantaged, so they can access the same opportunities as others.
In the ever-growing and competitive graduate market, it is increasingly important for educational establishments, employers and early talent specialists to recognise diversity values across the young person sector. Through our own experience of dealing with undergraduates daily, we understand that a candidate’s calibre and potential lies in a lot more than just the status of school or university they attend. We want to take some time to talk about the disadvantages that some young people face today in accessing opportunities, the urgent need to increase social mobility across the graduate market and raise awareness.
A primary focus of this article is looking at the power of socio-economic status in today’s market dictating the prospects of a young person. The area of focus is the correlations between the number of successful applicants to current graduate schemes from those who belong to a ‘low participation neighbourhood’ (a geographical area that is afflicted by a socio-economic disadvantage, such as relative poverty or familial low income).
In more recent years, the playing field has attempted to be levelled by making university education more accessible to a more diverse pool of young people. Through doing this, the notion is that by making higher education more accessible, those from a disadvantaged socio-economic background are able to increase and widen their own prospects.
As part of MyKindaFuture’s mission, we are constantly examining how in our own engagements with young people we can continuously improve this correlation, so we become more inclusive in promoting equal opportunity. We pride ourselves on working with leading graduate employers that also share our values for this mission. The likes of Nestle, M&S, and Civil Service have joined the movement of employers that consider and actively address their inclusion values for hiring talent from a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds. While the graduate market is slowly moving in the right direction, there is still a long way to go; many prestigious companies pride themselves on selecting talent only from a select, restricted pool of universities.
At MyKindaFuture, we aim to support students in a number of ways when they enter the application process through our Graduate Recruitment and University Teams. We upskill students, alongside our partners on techniques such as CV writing, interview tips and assessment centres through on campus events. We are also adamant that any campus events we hold over the course of the year can be attended by any student who attends that university. Our Graduate Recruitment Team support candidates throughout the graduate recruitment process from initial application through to assessment centre, offering support and advice, at each step, to allow each of our candidates to reach their full potential.
So, our food for thought from this article is this:
Steps are being taken in the right direction by a number of employers, universities and early talent specialists, but there is still work that needs to be addressed to eradicate this issue fully. It is perhaps time more pressures are placed on both graduate employers and education institutions to see a much-needed significant change in the opportunities available to all young people, regardless of their socio-economic status.