UK Social Mobility Awards 2019 Winners Announced

The UK’s only awards dedicated to recognising the achievements of organisations and individuals in promoting social mobility celebrated their third year with a fantastic gala at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.

The winning entries of the third iteration of the UK Social Mobility Awards, in association with Capita, were announced at a dazzling awards ceremony last night. The Awards celebrated the organisations embedding social mobility as a core business strategy, both within their own workforces and by influencing the debate from beyond their own walls.

By celebrating those committed to doing things differently and raising awareness of best practice, these awards aim to advance the practical implementation of social mobility in this country and create a movement of institutions committed to making change happen.

The night began with a drinks reception and three-course meal, providing an opportunity for attendees to network and cement relationships brought about by a commitment to equality. The gala evening was hosted by TV and Radio presenter Andrew Castle, and guests were entertained by the Chineke! Orchestra, before the winners were announced and presented with their awards.

The Awards, which are sponsored by the RAF and Antin Infrastructure Partners, received an impressive array of entries from across the UK and from a range of sectors and industries that have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives. Entries were judged by a prestigious judging panel, made up of leading figures in business, charity, politics and the public sector.

Chris May, Strategic Team Leader at Milkround, noted:

“It was great to be a part of an event that supports the movement towards a more inclusive and diverse workforce. It was such an privilege to hear the amazing things companies are doing to increase Social Mobility within the workplace. All of the winners were very well deserved, especially to Kier Group whose achievements are truly outstanding!”

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Chair of the Judging Panel for the awards, commented:

“The SOMOs shine a light on the successful organisations who have discovered the benefits of finding, recruiting, growing and promoting talented team members regardless of their upbringing. In this way, the SOMOs are proving how social mobility delivers through competitive advantage to a wide range of organisations across the spectrum.”

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder of The UK Social Mobility Awards, added:

“This year’s entries reveal that there is much good work going on, but there is still much more to do, both from those who are already on this journey and from those who have not yet got on board. It will take enormous and consistent effort to turn the tide on social mobility, and the UK Social Mobility Awards will continue to be there to advocate for, and champion, this noble movement.”

 

Winners – Organisations 

Organisation of The Year
Winners: Ministry of Justice
Highly Commended: KPMG

Innovation of the Year – sponsored by Milkround
Winner: Kier Group

Leadership of The Year – sponsored by Police Now
Winner: DWP

Recruitment Programme of The Year – sponsored by Hedley May
Winner: Greene King

Progression Programme of The Year
Winner: HMRC

Community Programme of The Year – sponsored by PwC
Winner: Nissan
Highly Commended: HMRC

University of the Year – sponsored by Pentland Brands
Winner: Nottingham Trent University

School/College of the Year – sponsored by BNP Paribas
Winner: Southmoor Academy

 

Winners – Individuals

Outstanding Contribution to Social Mobility
Winner: Justine Greening MP

Champion of The Year – sponsored by Lidl
Winner: Professor Pamela Gillies, Glasgow Caledonian University

Mentor of The Year
Winner: Franklin Asante, Coutts

Rising Star – sponsored by Foxtons
Winner: Milambo Makani, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Widening Access Network

 

Join the discussion:

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LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/showcase/the-uk-social-mobility-awards/

Twitter: @UKSMAwards – #SOMOs19

Facebook: @UKSMA

Instagram: @uk_social_mobility_awards

Increasing Diversity in Recruitment with the UK Social Mobility Awards

We were delighted to attend the UK Social Mobility Business Seminar on the 19th of March.

The UK Social Mobility Awards have been established to recognise and celebrate the achievements of those organisations that are making huge advancements when it comes to social mobility in the UK. 2019 marks the third year of this inspiring series of events, and Milkround is proud to be sponsoring the Business Seminar and launch of this year’s awards.

We heard from keynote speaker, Nadhim Zahawi MP and Professor Anthony Heath of CSI Nuffield, as well as panelist members on the day: Matthew Coats CB, Sarah Moore, Steven Cooper and Yasmine Chinwala.

Professor Anthony Heath covered both research and insight into why organisations should be caring about social mobility. With the answer being that it’s not just about social justice and a moral argument, but there is also a business case for it too – with greater diversity and less groupthink creating a better work dynamic and working environment.

There is a wastage of talent if you or universities do recruit based on your social background, rather than an ability to do the job

Professor Anthony Heath, CSI Nuffield

It is therefore important that employers are making these changes, especially those large organisations who can use their size and reach to put a stamp on social mobility and create influential change in student and graduate recruitment.

Putting this into action

Both Steven Cooper, previous CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays and Sarah Moore of PwC discussed how they are helping students from disadvantaged backgrounds get into these industries.

With Barclays struggling to recruit young people into their Cardiff regional office and a realisation that they could be doing more when it comes to diversity, they created a successful apprenticeship programme, going into the poorest and least privileged schools to promote the opportunities within the bank. From this, Barclays were able to access a significant amount of talent, creating a strong business case for improving social mobility on a larger scale.

PwC shared insight into their 5-point plan and why it is important to be clear on what works for your business, how you are going to get there and what you are trying to achieve. For PwC, they found going into schools really built momentum and opening an office in Bradford enabled them to reach out to students from poor backgrounds, offering a training plan and giving them opportunities to strive for.

Diversity with Milkround

We recently worked with leading accountancy and professional services firms to improve social mobility in the industry. As part of this campaign, we educated our audience through content pieces on our site, ran workshops at schools across the country and hosted a national competition for students from lower socio-economic areas of the UK.

If you are interested in attending this event or learning more about the 2019 UK Social Mobility Awards, visit: uksomo.com if you’d like more details on how you can enter, contact Paola Contessi: paola.contessi@mtl.org.uk
For more information on how we can help you to become more aware of this topic and take steps to increase diversity your organisation, call us on: 0333 0145 111 or visit recruiting.milkround.com

Milkround’s latest insight into the school leaver market

Our Insight Breakfast

On Wednesday 15th November, Milkround offered our latest insight into the school leaver market. At our annual Insight Breakfast, we launched the findings from our most recent report, the School Leaver Candidate Compass 2017.

 

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Lizzy Hunt and Ellie Green from Milkround’s marketing team share our report findings

 

It was a pleasure to be joined by The Prince’s Trust, who offered their own insight into social mobility in the school leaver market and how they actively tackle this, as well as how we as employers can all do more.

 

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Russell Knight from The Prince’s Trust shares insight into student social mobility

 

We were also joined by two amazingly talented apprentices from Jaguar Land Rover and Grant Thornton – thank you Lucy and Holly! It was great to hear the positive impact apprenticeships can have on our young people and how these individuals have smashed barriers and challenged misconceptions held by some of their peers.

Key Findings from the Report

Our survey received over 3,200 responses, with the vast majority of these students studying AS or A Levels currently.

73% of school leavers believe the GCSE reform is a negative change. A third worry that employers will not understand the new system.

70% of our respondents do not believe it is crucial to have a university degree in order to have a successful carer.

98% say they are primarily told about the university as a career choice in school or college.

19% of our respondents who received free school meals had differing views on their future careers than their non-free school meal counterparts.

Download the report.

Why does having a socially diverse workforce matter to your business?

The release of recent statistics in the press has pushed social mobility to the top of many employer’s agendas. Deliotte’s Fair Access to Work study in 2016 showed that students from less advantaged backgrounds earn an average of nearly 10% less than their more advantaged peers 6 months after graduating. By raising awareness of this inequality, we can hope to close this gap and make sure all students and graduates are given a level playing field when it comes to the world of work, regardless of their background.

  1. What does social mobility mean, and how does it currently look in the graduate market?

Socioeconomic backgrounds are difficult to pinpoint, but are usually characterised by post code lived in at the age of 14, free school meal eligibility, and parent professions. In 2016, only 10.3% of all UCAS applicants were made by those from most disadvantaged backgrounds, compared to 30% of those from the most advantaged.  Once students have completed university, there is a pay gap of around 10%. Employers are continuing to hire with the influence of unconscious bias, targeting their recruitment drives at elite universities and filtering out candidates who don’t meet high qualification brackets.

  1. Who is championing the change in social mobility?

Deloitte, Accenture, O2, Linklaters, KPMG, Barclays, EY, Baker & McKenzie, Grant Thornton, Teach First and the independent Bridge Group have committed to working with the government to create new national common measures which will help to boost social mobility in workplaces across the UK, in both private and public sectors.

  1. Why should bringing in a diverse workforce matter to me, and how can I tackle it?

There are a multitude of reasons why bringing in a diverse workforce can bring benefits to your business. It firstly widens your talent pool, giving you the chance to recruit potential rather than a tick box of grades and qualifications. Secondly, hiring people from different backgrounds will widen your skill set, bringing in fresh talent and other perspectives. It will also strengthen your employee engagement, opening doors for wider collaboration, development programmes and mentoring schemes.

There are several simpler changes you can make to your business to reduce the barriers for less advantaged candidates joining your organisation.

  • Banning unpaid internships will stop only graduates from privileged backgrounds gaining valuable work experience, opening the opportunity up to all candidates.
  • Look past grades and qualifications when filtering through your applications. Shift your focus towards their experiences and progression to understand where you can find potential.
  • Reimbursing interview travel costs, or hire locally. Less privileged candidates may be unable to attend interviews too far from their home due to high travel costs. Offering a reimbursement or targeting your recruitment drive locally can help to combat this barrier.

We are a long way away from abolishing all the barriers for graduates from disadvantaged backgrounds when entering the world of work. There are a lot of small steps many organisations can take to becoming a much more diverse and inclusive team, bringing with it a multitude of benefits to your company culture and collaboration. For more information on how you can reach out to students from all walks of life, simply get in touch.