Working with The Social Mobility Commission, ELLE UK identified, and activily recruited students from a combination of medium and cold spots (disadvantaged areas) from across the country which have been recognised as having the biggest barriers for young people in fulfilling their potential. Students on the 2021 programme are from Norwich, Blackburn, Solihull and Caerphilly and Inverness.
- Of the areas in England that ELLE UK has drawn students from, Norwich and Blackburn are social mobility cold spots. In SMC research conducted in 2020, Blackburn ranked among the least socially mobile areas in England.
- As a result of the pandemic, Young people are likely to be missing out on valuable work experience. Around 60% of graduate employers have had to cancel some or all of their work experience and internship placements due to COVID-19.
- Of the areas in which the students live, Blackburn (45%), Caerphilly (30%) and Norwich (28-31%) have the highest rates of children in poverty. Blackburn is significantly above the national average (almost one third of children in the UK are living in poverty)
- Since 2012, 40% of new professional jobs were in London and the south-east (939,700 jobs), more than those created in Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and the English regions of the north-east, the East Midlands, the southwest, and Yorkshire and the Humber combined.
ELLE UK worked to find students in need of support in reaching their full potential and actively recruited a group of students from non-fee-paying schools. ELLE UK chose young students aged 17 – 22 years old who would work alongside an ELLE UK buddy via Zoom to get an understanding of the process, whilst contributing ideas across everything from the creative direction of shoots, fashion styling, drafting headlines and the cover shoot.
As part of this campaign, students will also have access to a large diverse group of well-known mentors, from boxer Ramla Ali, to activist Munroe Bergdorf, supermodel Leomie Anderson and screenwriter and director, Emerald Fennell. All who will give students personal insights into different creative industries, lessons the mentors have learned and how they succeed in their respective fields.
Farrah Storr, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE and board member of the Social Mobility Commission says: “The creative industries are going through one of the toughest times in living history. And if you’re a young person wanting to break into them, it can feel harder than ever. We already know how labyrinthine the arts can be, filled with intricate network systems and their own inscrutable codes of behaviour. That means if you’re a young person from one of the UK’s more deprived areas, breaking in, particularly in the current climate, can feel impossible. I’m delighted that we are running our ELLE Creative Mentorship in partnership with the SMC for the second year running. We have always known that true creativity comes from having a workforce whose lenses on life are truly diverse.”
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