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A celebration of sport - how the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games can make life better for everyone

30 November, 2021

Nick Hatton

Midlands Place & Purpose Leader, PwC United Kingdom

+44 (0)7880 788324

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With less than 250 days left until the start of the  Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the excitement is building, not only for the fantastic festival of sport that lies ahead but also for the great legacies that will remain for Birmingham and the Midlands region long after the last race has been run and the last medal has been awarded.

The statistics are very impressive. The Games will be the largest multi-sport competition to be held in England in 10 years with an anticipated global broadcast audience of 1.5 billion over 11 days of sporting action. Equally important will be the spotlight being shone on the Midlands, promoting our region and its people across the world.

From an employment and social mobility perspective, the Games offer a unique range of opportunities in the form of new jobs, work placements and volunteering. The Games ambition is that everyone, no matter what their social or educational background, should have access to Games related opportunities and hopefully be able to use their experiences to enhance their employability skills. After all, who wouldn't want being a part of the Commonwealth Games on their CV?!

Creating employment opportunities in non-traditional and sometimes unexpected ways, such as the Games is doing, should be an important part of every company’s purpose. Offering better work experience placements, apprenticeship programs and alternative non-graduate career pathways as well as upskilling and mentoring, play an important role in securing the social mobility of future generations. Recently, in our role as sponsor to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, we held events in our Birmingham and London offices for senior business leaders to highlight the transformative effect events like the Games can have on cities, regions and nations and how the business community can help by providing meaningful, sustainable support.

My own route to a professional career was far from traditional. I started working in kitchens at 14 washing pots, became a chef and then returned to education later on, changing my career path completely. No matter what your background, with access to the right opportunities, I believe that you can be successful and fulfill your potential.

Post-pandemic, it's more important than ever that business leaders are at their most imaginative driving change in the diversity and social mobility of their industry by opening up broader upskilling opportunities to talented young people. Not only does it help us live our Purpose, it’s what our clients want and value.

PwC has a targeted ‘Place and Purpose’ action plan in place and has been recognised as one of the top 10 employers for social mobility in the Social Mobility Foundation’s Employer Index for the past three years. In partnership with the University of Birmingham, we have created technology apprenticeship degrees designed not only to give more young people from a wide range of backgrounds the opportunity to build a career in technology but also to help grow the UK’s next generation of technology talent. Apprentices are PwC employees from day one, earning a salary throughout the course, which blends university life with practical work-based technology projects.

And while putting a program in place is important, we must also focus on broader diversity and ensure these groups are not disproportionately impacted by changes to the job market and that they have the support and opportunities to reskill. So, while I am eagerly looking forward to a glorious summer of sport and cultural celebration, I am also looking forward to watching positive sustainable social change evolve right here on my doorstep.

"Nick is a Deals Tax partner and is part of a strong team of deals specialists providing tailored and commercial advice to a variety of UK and international investors. For over 20 years, Nick has advised across the full corporate finance lifecycle from initial start-up fundraising, through private equity investment, acquisitions and disposals, restructurings and IPO."

Nick Hatton

Midlands Place & Purpose Leader, PwC United Kingdom

+44 (0)7880 788324

Email

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