University joins new partnership to combat inequality

Media Relations Team, 05 April 2024

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Representatives of nine regional institutions sign up to the new OurCity2030 partnership to combat inequality in Bristol
Representatives of nine regional institutions sign up to the new OurCity2030 partnership

UWE Bristol is one of nine regional institutions to sign up to a groundbreaking agreement to address inequality and deprivation for Bristol’s low-income communities, providing a model for other UK regions. 

The new OurCity2030 initiative sees Bristol-based social enterprise Babbasa partnering with nine leading regional institutions, including UWE Bristol, to end the cycle of inequality and deprivation for the next generation. It will aim to support the bold long-term vision of advancing 2,030 underrepresented young people from low-income households to secure a median salary by 2030.

Joining the advisory board are Arup, Babbasa, Black South West Network, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital, Bristol City Council (acting through the One City Office), Business West, Cabot Learning Federation, University of Bristol and UWE Bristol. The board will now work to convene community partners, businesses and funders to help achieve the vision for the city region and safeguard the next generation from social immobility and inequality.

The scheme, which has been in pilot over the past 12 months, has already supported 229 young people to achieve employment outcomes, with 78 of these advanced into career-oriented work. OurCity2030 is underpinned by an in-depth socio-economic analysis which has identified the challenges and opportunities facing young people in Bristol’s inner-city wards in the regional labour market. 

The initiative will now support up to 600 young people a year, facilitating paths into the sectors which are thriving across the South-West, such as the technology and creative industries, while supporting employers to create inclusive work environments. 

Tracey John, Research, Business and Innovation Director at UWE Bristol said: “UWE Bristol is delighted to be part of this important strategic partnership initiative, harnessing collective and unified action, resource and expertise to address city-region inequalities. We look forward to mobilising and leveraging our support through the partnership for inclusive social and economic impact outcomes.”

Poku Osei, Founding Director of Babbasa, said: “This is a momentous occasion, not just for the city of Bristol, but for other cities too, to realise what can pragmatically be done at a city level to unlock talent if we are intentional - particularly at a time when we're losing bright young and able minds to a life of crime, gangs and despondency. It's special to be able to have an agreement for a city model that brings together influential cross-sector institutions to tackle the problem head on.”

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “It has been fantastic to see Bristol’s businesses, universities and institutions come together to support Babbasa and OurCity2030 so far, with today marking an important milestone in unlocking the next stage in the programme. This initiative showcases what Bristol can achieve, with partners collaborating and driving forward a vision for a truly inclusive city economy.”

Nina Skubala, One City Office: “City Office is delighted to be supporting and working with OurCity2030. Bristol is a growing city home to many successful industries, but we need to make sure that everyone shares in that success. We know that access to these exciting roles is not yet equitable – that’s why we need this programme, to give our talent the opportunity to succeed.”

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