Deloitte, the business advisory firm, has launched a five year social impact strategy to help improve the lives of one million people. One Million Futures will see the firm work with more than 45 charities, schools and social enterprises across the UK to invest in a range of programmes that seek to raise aspirations, improve skills and develop leaders. This will include supporting 27 education and employability charities and social enterprises across the UK through Deloitte’s Society Partners programme. In Belfast Deloitte partner with NOW Group, Kinship Care NI and Hazelwood Integrated College.
Through a focus on education and training, One Million Futures aims to help one million people get to where they want to be; whether it’s in the classroom, the workplace or the boardroom.
Mark McClintock, Impact Lead Partner at Deloitte Belfast, commented: “Our partnerships in Belfast are part of Deloitte’s new social impact strategy, One Million Futures, which aims to help one million people overcome barriers to education and employment. We want to play our part in giving individuals the skills and opportunities to succeed.
“The One Million Futures initiative focuses on what Deloitte can do to improve society – raising aspirations, improving access to skills and developing new leaders. As our economy continues to evolve it is more important than ever to align the aspirations and behaviours of individuals, businesses, policy makers and educators.”
Recent research carried out by Deloitte showed students from the least advantaged backgrounds earn, on average, nearly 10 per cent less than their most advantaged peers six months after graduating from the same subject. Deloitte research has also shown there is likely to be far greater demand in the future for essential skills such as reasoning, critical thinking and complex problem-solving, rather than skills traditionally focused on in schools.
Mr McClintock added: “At Deloitte we are committed to supporting young people, giving them the skills they need to become future leaders. We are demonstrating this through our own BrightStart Apprenticeship scheme and our sponsorship of Catalyst Inc.’s Generation Innovation programme, both of which are positive indicators of the talented young people we have in Northern Ireland.”
NOW Group supports people with learning difficulties to overcome barriers to education and employment. Last year it supported over 400 individuals, 83 per cent of whom successfully gained qualifications and 30 per cent of whom went on to further training or employment.
Deloitte will support NOW by offering staff time for projects which will either strategically develop the organisation itself or directly work with beneficiaries on specific programmes, over the next three years. Projects have already started including staff mentoring to develop financial processes, a workshop on cyber security and a strategic review of the organisation. Deloitte has also signed up as a corporate catering customer.
Maeve Monaghan, NOW Group CEO, said: "We are looking forward to working with Deloitte to grow our social enterprises, engaging more employers and supporting more people with learning difficulties into jobs with a future.”
Kinship Care NI is an award winning charity which supports children and young people who cannot be cared for by their own parents to live safely and securely within their own families and communities. The Charity runs a range of projects and services and a number of social enterprises across Northern Ireland.
Jacqueline Williamson, CEO at Kinship Care NI, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be selected by Deloitte as their Society Partner. This partnership will enable us to grow our impact and make a positive impact on the lives of the children, young people and families who come through our organisation for support.”
Since 2013, Deloitte has supported Hazelwood Integrated College with a number of initiatives, including employability workshops, leadership & development, app day, partnering with Young Enterprise to provide mentoring and taking part in the Deloitte UK TMT Schools Challenge. Over the next few years, Deloitte will be working alongside Hazelwood on a number of new initiatives that tie in with the company’s One Million Futures strategy.
Pictured are Mark McClintock, Impact Lead Partner at Deloitte Belfast; Maeve Monaghan, NOW Group CEO.
NOW Group is a social enterprise supporting people with learning difficulties and autism into jobs with a future across Northern Ireland.