upReach scheme to improve undergraduate access to professional employment

Seven Russell Group universities have partnered with upReach, an organisation which works to improve access to professional employment for undergraduates from less-privileged backgrounds. The Russell Group partner institutions are Bristol, Exeter, King’s College London, Liverpool, Southampton, Queen Mary University of London universities.


Participants are offered a one-to-one programme of career support, including employability workshops and employer events to help build their knowledge, soft skills, networks and work experience. The organisation focuses on supporting participants’ progression to top jobs in areas such as consultancy, banking, audit and tax and central government.

Founded in 2012, upReach initially supported 39 participants, known as ‘associates’. Following steady growth, in 2016/17 it worked with more than 600 associates, and it aims to work with 1,000 within two years.

Evidence of impact includes those with graduate roles starting on a mean average salary of £25,553, some £3,500 more than the average graduate. UpReach estimates that since it was founded, its associates have been on average five times more likely to secure a job with a partner employer than an average applicant.

Of upReach associates who graduated in 2015, 88% secured a graduate role or internship.




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