By Sangeeta Waldron — The UK’s first-ever Social Mobility Employer Index has released its findings - ranking Britain’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds, and showcasing progress towards improving social mobility in the workplace. A collaboration between the Social Mobility Foundation and Social Mobility Commission, in partnership with the City of London Corporation, the Index wants to encourage all companies to share their initiatives and progress in becoming more inclusive employers. It also wants to show which sectors and companies are taking the issue of social mobility most seriously.
Nearly 100 employers from 17 sectors, who collectively employ just under one million people, submitted entries about their practices in areas such as work with young people, recruitment, selection and progression. The final rankings were decided by a panel of experts; all firms will receive a report with recommendations for areas for improvement. The results show that businesses are now increasingly asking both new and current employees about their social background: four in 10 ask the type of school attended (41%); a quarter ask if an employee received free school meals (26%); 39% ask if employees were the first in their family to go to university; around one in ten ask about parental occupation (7%) and the postcode where an employee grew up (11%)!
Statistics show that people from more prosperous backgrounds, who attend private schools and elite universities, often take a disproportionate number of the best jobs.
Interestingly, just under one in five of these companies now set social mobility targets as part of their business strategy. While collectively all the businesses scored the highest on their work with young people, providing outreach activities for over 663,000 young people, nearly 10,000 work experience placements and over 5,000 mentors. But they score lowest on helping people from lower-socio economic backgrounds to progress in the workplace.
Lloyds Banking Group ranked 22nd for its work to tackle social mobility, enabling those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to succeed. The Group was recognised specifically for its flagship programme, the Lloyds Scholars, which partners with nine universities across the UK to offer a package of financial support, paid internships, skills based volunteering and a business mentor to develop employability skills. Over 600 young people from low income families have been supported. The Lloyds Banking Group Apprenticeship has provided 4,350 apprenticeship opportunities giving a viable route into work following school. The Lloyds Banking Group School to Work is currently helping thousands of young people in schools across the UK make informed choices about their route to employment.
Lloyd’s, along with the other companies in the Index, has shown real ambition in its approach to tackling social mobility and is helping remove the barriers that are holding back the best and brightest candidates in society.
Photo Credit: Social Mobility Foundation