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‘Levelling Up Goals’ launched for post-Covid recovery

Posted on 2 February 2021

The University of York is working with a former Cabinet minister to chart the UK’s progress towards improving people’s life chances and access to careers, as part of Britain’s recovery from Covid-19.

The Levelling Up Goals starts with the early years right through to adulthood

The ‘Levelling Up Goals’, published today by former Education Secretary and Social Mobility Pledge founder, Rt Hon Justine Greening, draw on academic and business expertise and are designed to focus on key life stages, from early years through to adulthood, and to provide a benchmark to track progress.  

The Goals are a practical response to the agenda to level-up Britain in the recovery from Covid-19 and to create a level playing field on life and job opportunities. They have been designed to set out how the ambition to level-up Britain can be achieved.  

Professor Kiran Trehan, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement at the University is working alongside Justine and other university and business Purpose Coalition partners to develop ways to measure success against the Goals. 

Breaking barriers

Professor Trehan said: "We know that education does not start and end with school or university, it is a lifelong process that individuals carry through into their careers and beyond.  The unfortunate reality, however, is that this process of learning is available to some, but not all, and this is what we want to try and address with the 'Levelling Up' programme. 

"It is not just the job of our educators to make this happen; it requires businesses, politicians, and communities all working together to understand the barriers at each stage of an individual's life and to ensure that they are able to achieve their full potential regardless of race or social background." 

Between 2012 and 2016, Justine Greening was the UK’s International Development Secretary and during this time, she worked alongside the UN and 184 international partners to agree the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, designed to be a blueprint to achieve a better more sustainable future for all. 


The Levelling Up Goals aim to provide the same framework for government, education, businesses, communities and others to address the long running lack of social mobility and inequality of opportunity that exists in Britain.   

Rt Hon Justine Greening said: “If Britain is to achieve levelling up, I believe that we need a galvanising set of goals that can unite Parliament, business, communities and civil society to work in partnership for the common good of our country. 

“Time is of the essence. Covid-19 has levelled down our country and therefore made levelling-up not only more urgent, but even harder.  Whilst the solutions may vary, I believe that these Levelling-Up Goals can transcend party politics and set clear objectives for the recovery we need to achieve in our communities.”  

For more on the Levelling Up Goals, please visit:


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