London is one of the richest parts of the UK, but it is also one of the most unequal, with the highest levels of poverty in the country. An inequality of access to opportunities, education, social networks and facilities exists, partly based on a blend of income levels, family history and support, and geography.

Having a meaningful occupation – be it working, training, studying or volunteering – enhances social inclusion through building self-esteem and the confidence to interact with others.

Occupation is one of the three key dimensions of the Lieutenancy’s strategy: Building bridges for a fairer London. As a convenor we will help enhance the efforts of people, charities and institutions to assist the disadvantaged gain employment, education or practical skills. We will use our influence to recognize and reward the social contributions of people, charities and enterprises to promote inspirational role models. The Lord-Lieutenant’s Council on Occupation was established to deliver this objective.

The Chair of the Council on Occupation is Sir William Atkison DL.

William Atkinson spent 42 years teaching in secondary schools mainly in Inner London, including 27 years as Headteacher of four different schools.

William has extensive experience of working with the voluntary sector. He is currently chair of The Lyric Board Hammersmith, Board member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Trustee of The Clink Charity, Governor of Tottenham University Technical College, Trustee of The Urbis Academy Trust. William has contributed to a wide range of TV and Radio broadcasts. In 2008 William was Knighted for services to Education and the Community.

William is married to Jacquie and they have four adult children.