Is your company doing enough to help those from less privileged backgrounds advance their careers?

The government has acknowledged that employers could be doing more and has published a Social Mobility Index naming employers who have taken the biggest strides in giving opportunities to people of all backgrounds.

Who makes the list?

Almost 100 employers participated and provided information about their practices and procedures. In particular, they answered questions about their actions in regards to working with young people, routes into work, attraction, selection and progression. All of the participating employers received a report containing key recommendations on what they can do to improve.

The final rankings were determined by a panel of experts, who decided the top five is as follows: Grant Thornton UK, KPMG UK, Skanska UK, Standard Life and Deloitte UK. The list is populated with companies in professional services, law, banking or financial services, retail, engineering or industrial, investment banking and the public sector.

What was found?

Through the companies’ submissions, some key findings included:

  • 41% of businesses ask employees what type of school they attended.
  • 96% of businesses maintain they accept degrees from any university, however, 61% of applicants who were successful went to “one of the country’s most selective 24 universities”.
  • 17% of businesses set social mobility targets as part of their overall business strategy.
  • Oxford and Cambridge universities are visited the most by employers – they were visited more than the 118 other institutions combined.

Importance of social mobility

The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Commission, said “The annual publication of this index aims to shine a light on how and where progress is being made. Employers that have employees at all levels from a rich variety of social backgrounds are better placed to meet the demands and uncertainties of today’s world. Social mobility is good for employers. And employers can make a major contribution to creating a more mobile society.”

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