On Wednesday 21st October, the SMB Group was delighted to welcome Barratt Developments PLC to the College, where they were joined by the former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening, for the launch of a new Social Mobility Pledge.

The Bardon based company has unveiled a new action plan to increase access to career opportunities in the housebuilding sector.

As part of the event, Justine Greening – co-founder of the initiative – met with students who are currently undertaking apprenticeships with Barratt Developments to learn what ‘social mobility’ means to them.

The SMB Group offers a number of different apprenticeships and full-time study programmes, offering students different routes into the Construction industry, including:

For more information on the Social Mobility Pledge, read the press release below from Barratt Developments PLC:


Following a launch event at Coalville’s Stephenson College on Wednesday 21st October, Barratt Developments PLC – based in Bardon - has unveiled a new action plan to increase access to career opportunities in the housebuilding sector.

The Social Mobility Pledge, co-founded by former Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening, is set to ensure more people are able to progress in careers, unhindered by their background or lack of connections.

As a signatory to the Pledge, Bardon-based Barratt Developments is one of a pioneering group of UK businesses and universities aiming to set a new and higher standard on boosting social mobility in Britain, with boardroom focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues.

As part of the launch event, Justine Greening was given an insight into the leading developer’s action plan and also had the chance to meet with a couple of apprentices who shared their stories of the opportunities presented to them whilst working for Barratt Developments.

Justine said: “Achieving true social mobility in Britain and levelling up our country is a huge challenge but one that businesses and universities are rising to. They have a crucial role to play and can be an incredible force for good in spreading opportunities more evenly across communities and to people that have missed out for far too long. The Covid-19 crisis has also reset the relationship between businesses and their customers, who expect them to be much more active on social purpose. I am delighted that Barratt Developments is at the forefront of this environment, social and corporate governance agenda. Publishing this action plan today sends out a clear signal that Barratt Developments is raising the standard of corporate ESG and I look forward to working closely with them in the important months ahead for our country.”

The Social Mobility Pledge was cofounded by Justine Greening in 2018, after she left the Government, alongside UK entrepreneur David Harrison. It asks businesses and universities to commit to levelling up Britain by partnering with local schools, offering apprenticeships and using open and fair recruitment practices.

The launch of Barratt Developments’ Opportunity Action Plan at Stephenson College was the culmination of months of work with the Social Mobility Pledge team.

Mick Hinds, Director of Curriculum for Construction at Stephenson College, said: “The SMB Group (Stephenson Campus) are proud to be working with Barratt Developments in offering comprehensive industry focused apprenticeships supporting the requirements of the construction industry and the wider economy. Our purpose is to improve opportunities for our students, underpinned by a commitment to excellence, innovation, and inclusion. This combination of local access to skills development within a strategic regional framework is at the heart of what we do. Our students access high-quality learning and teaching in some excellent facilities with industry-standard resources and exceptional staff. This supports each student to achieve their full potential and contribute to sustainable economic growth and a thriving community.”

Ben Doody, Bricklaying Apprentice with Barratt Developments, said: “Barratt always strives for high quality and standards. They’re a great employer, treating employees fairly and providing opportunities for self-improvement. I’ve been on my apprenticeship for eight months so far. The scheme was made very accessible to me. Previously I didn’t really have any career goals, but I’ve now been given the direction I needed. For me, social mobility means how easily people can transition from one area of society to another, whether by career or social status, and it’s excellent to see Barratt Developments offering further career opportunities through this Pledge.”

During Justine’s visit at Stephenson College, she also heard how Barratt Developments is helping the UK to build back better from the effects of Covid-19.

David Thomas, Chief Executive of Barratt Developments, said:  “We want to build without barriers and are committed to ensuring everyone reaches their potential. We are proud to have more than double the national average of women in construction. But we know we can do more. This report reaffirms our commitment and sets out the ways that we can go further in the years ahead. As the country’s leading housebuilder and a major employer we have an important role to play as the country looks to recover beyond the coronavirus pandemic.”

As part of its commitment to boosting social mobility, Barratt Developments offers a range of apprenticeships, as well as programmes for both undergraduates and graduates – all of which provide a strong platform for a successful career in the construction industry.

For further information about the career opportunities available, please visit