As we continue in our mission to ensure a young person's background doesn't limit their career potential, we're excited to announce our partnership with international law firm Osborne Clarke on a brand-new social mobility programme creating a bridge between education and employment for young people from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds in the firm's communities.

Together we've launched The Bridge, a long-term programme giving students aged 11-18 access to skills, experiences and insight that will shape their future careers.

We're working with carefully selected partner schools local to Osborne Clarke's offices in Bristol, London and Reading, engaging people across the firm to help deliver tailored packages of support for each school that will include employability programmes, career insight experiences and one-to-one mentoring.

The Bridge wants to reach and support young people whose background and circumstances - even their postcode - could negatively impact their future. That's why we've built partnerships with one school in each of Osborne Clarke's communities, chosen for having disproportionately high levels of disadvantage and low employer engagement. This allows us to target our support at those students who stand to gain most from the programme and where we can make a real and lasting impact. Our partner schools are:

  • Merchants Academy in Bristol
  • Skinners Academy in Hackney, East London
  • John Madejski Academy in Reading

We'll be designing, developing and managing The Bridge, working closely in partnership with Osborne Clarke to create a programme that widens access to careers in the legal sector and the wider corporate world and equips students with the knowledge, skills and insight to help them succeed in school and employment.

Bola Gibson, Head of Inclusion & CSR at Osborne Clarke, decided to partner with Visionpath to develop The Bridge because, "It's really important to us that we make an impact in the communities in which we work. We wanted to build a programme that made a long-term commitment to local schools and their students, and enabled our people to help prepare the next generation to thrive."

Our founder, Patrick Philpott, was keen to think differently about how we could work with young people: "We've really drilled down into the challenges in Osborne Clarke's communities and looked at the local landscape around disadvantage and access to opportunity. We've used data combined with careful dialogue with schools to build partnerships where we know The Bridge will offer something new and different for students and make a real lasting impact."

Over this academic year we're rolling out employability programmes with each school, as well as launching a mentoring programme across all three schools, providing work experience opportunities and connecting students with entry-level pathways in law.

If you want to hear more about how your business and your people can make a meaningful impact on social mobility in your communities, please get in touch with our team.