Our Mission

A great first job changes everything.

Social mobility is one of the most important missions of our time. And it’s why we exist.


Recently, social mobility has become a bit of a buzzword. It’s in the news, all over LinkedIn, there’s even a whole government commission dedicated to social mobility. And yet despite this surge in awareness, wealth at birth remains the best indicator of future financial success – above and beyond gender, ethnicity or even IQ.

The truth is, that the social, cultural and economic capital that you happen to be born into has a massive influence on your future – regardless of your intrinsic capabilities. And yet, research shows state-educated people from low-income backgrounds perform at least as well, or outperform, their more privileged peers.

At The Early Careers Foundation, we want to create a society where talent, not background, determines a young person’s career success. We believe that early careers can be a fantastic leveller for young people, however, outdated career guidance, lack of connections in a culture of ‘who you know’, low starting salaries and limiting entry requirements are all holding back talented young people.

The Early Careers Foundation.

Our theory of change is simple.


Young people start making choices that can impact their future as early as 14. That’s why our initiatives are each specifically designed, alongside experts in education and careers, to begin supporting young people from the point at which they join Secondary School.

We identified three main areas to which young people from lower
socioeconomic backgrounds have less access: professional knowledge, guidance and financial support. Each fit into a unique part of a young person’s educational journey, accessing a different initiative at ages 11-16, 16-18 and 18+ so that we can provide the right support at the right time.

Because if we can give young people exposure to the professional world early on, they will to become aware of their potential and give them access into a world that may have felt out of their reach.

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The Social Mobility Charity of The Ladder Group

Of course, social mobility isn’t achieved through grassroots initiatives alone. Achieving a real increase in social mobility in the UK takes organisational change.

That’s why our mission is pushed forward by our colleagues at The Ladder Group – who pick up where The Early Careers Foundation’s initiatives end! Their focus is all on building inclusive and developmental pathways in careers so that anyone can succeed in a great role. If you’re interested in learning more about what The Ladder Group does, click here.