At a glance


  • Training / employment support

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


Do you think that your socio-economic background should determine your career prospects? upReach’s vision is of a society in which everybody has an equal opportunity to realise their full career potential. We help young people from less-advantaged backgrounds achieve their career potential by providing an intensive programme of support that addresses socio-economic barriers to graduate employment.

Our work is important because while more students from disadvantaged backgrounds are now getting into university, relatively few go on to secure prestigious graduate jobs. Indeed, those from comprehensive schools are up to 17 times less likely than those from selective schools to secure graduate roles at some top employers, where 70% of graduates went to private or grammar schools that educate just 11% of the population.

upReach help disadvantaged students from across the UK to realise their potential. Our team of Programme Coordinators provide a highly personalised programme of support to each undergraduate student (each known as an “upReach Associate”). Through successful partnerships with forty top employers and universities, we offer Associates access to a comprehensive range of opportunities and activities to broaden their horizons, understand career pathways and develop the skills, networks and experiences needed for career success.

To find out more about upReach and how we support our students, visit our website and read our Annual Report.


Associates are supported through our unique programme of application support, soft skills workshops, video forums (small group, online seminar-style sessions), mentoring and professional work experience. We collaborate closely with other charities in our sector to maximise our joint impact. From working with 400 Associates in 2015, we have this year supported over 1300, while maintaining our personalised approach and expanding the support offered.

Following extensive consultation over the last six months, including input from the upReach team and Advisory Group, our strategy for the next three years has been finalised. We plan to provide a personalised model of support to 2,500 students in 2022, and to use our experience supporting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to influence employer behaviours, helping to create a level playing field.

upReach is a relatively young charity, but an ambitious one. We have invested in class-leading technology to facilitate, deliver and evaluate our programmes. The upReach Graduate Employability Framework (GEF), against which all of our activities are mapped, enables students to understand their employability and plan their learning. We built getEmployable to provide all students with a means to measure their employability using the GEF. Our contextualised grade model, REALrating, is used to better understand academic potential rather than relying on grades alone.

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