The Challenge


The Midlands has some of the most and least deprived areas in England. According to the Social Mobility Commission, the Midlands is the worst region of the country for social mobility for those from disadvantaged backgrounds – half the local authority areas in the East Midlands and more than a third in the West Midlands are social mobility coldspots.

25% of people in the Midlands live in households with incomes below the poverty threshold, one of the highest percentages of all English regions.

The Midlands has the highest proportion of children aged under 16 of the nine English regions, 19.4% compared with an England average of 18.7%.

Working here, you will encounter a broad range of cultures, languages and traditions, and will have the opportunity to influence positive change for children and young people in a resourceful, creative and conscientious manner.

Key statistics
  • 86% of children in need in the Midlands did not achieve 5 or more A* – C grades at GCSE including English and Maths (UK GOV 2016).
  • Over 50% of children are living in poverty in some parts of the Midlands (Children’s Society 2017).
  • 360 looked after children were identified as having a substance misuse problem (UK GOV 2016).
  • There were 146,150 children in need living across the Midlands in 2015 – 16 (UK GOV 2016).
  • Over a third of care leavers are not in education, employment or training (UK GOV 2016).
Living here

Situated in the heart of the country, this area offers a truly dynamic and varied place to live and work. It boasts great cities and towns, staggering countryside, pretty villages, grand castles to explore, and canals and waterways to walk beside. Stretching as far north as the Peak District and with easy access to Wales, the region contains six Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

As Britain’s second city, Birmingham has everything you could possibly desire in abundance and boasts the largest number of young people compared to any of its European counterparts. With 40% of its multicultural population aged under 25, this makes for a vibrant global presence. The city offers a world-class cultural scene, superb shopping, modern dining and other drinking and leisure opportunities.

The Midlands offers an incredible diverse housing stock throughput the region’s cities, towns, villages and rural locations. House prices and rents vary significantly, but tend to be some of the most affordable in the country. They are typically 10–15% cheaper in the Midlands when compared with national figures for England and are a massive 60% lower than prices in Greater London.

Excellent rail links provide quick and frequent connections across all parts of the region and into Birmingham city centre. Getting further afield is easy from this central point in the UK’s road network and there are two international airports in Birmingham and Coventry.

Key benefits of living in the region
  • There is massive diversity on offer, ranging from the truly vibrant and diverse cities to the outstanding natural beauty of the countryside and the many thriving shire and market towns
  • Your salary goes further than in other parts of the country
Participants in the region


For the 2018 cohort, we will be placing 100 participants in 13 local authorities across the Midlands region – making it our largest regional cohort.