The City of London Corporation has entered the top 50 list of UK employers working to boost social mobility.
The governing body for the Square Mile ranks 50th in the 2020 Social Mobility Employer Index, which recognises businesses and organisations taking the most action to recruit and foster talent from a wide range of backgrounds.
The City Corporation, which worked with the organiser, the Social Mobility Foundation charity, to set up the scheme three years ago, has moved up from 56th place in last year’s index and 66th in 2018.
It was praised for its school outreach work with disadvantaged pupils and for offering higher level apprenticeships – providing a route into the organisation comparable with graduate entry routes.
The Index was set up to address the fact that a disproportionate number of people from affluent backgrounds, private schools and elite universities get top jobs.
The City Corporation launched its 10-year Social Mobility Strategy in 2018, aimed at boosting equality of opportunity and ensuring everyone can access the skills and talent they need to thrive.
City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness, said:
“Making the top 50 and continuing to improve our position in the Index year-on-year is testament to the work which is going on across the City Corporation to meet the ambitious objectives outlined in our Social Mobility Strategy.
“Ensuring talented individuals from less privileged backgrounds have the chance to get on in life is not only the right thing to do, it also benefits employers such as ourselves, ensuring we are accessing the widest possible pool of talent.
“There is still work to be done and we will take on board and act on the feedback received so we continue to do everything possible to ensure we are a diverse and inclusive organisation which welcomes and nurtures people from all backgrounds.”
The City Corporation was also praised for using standardised interview questions and for being prepared to accept vocational qualifications and work experience in lieu of academic achievements.
Work the City Corporation has carried out to boost social mobility includes running the London Careers Festival, which reaches 5,000 young people across the London boroughs, and a partnership through its charity funder, City Bridge Trust, with The Prince’s Trust for schemes whish boost youth employability.
The City Corporation sponsors 10 academies across Hackney, Newham, Islington and Southwark, through its City of London Academies Trust. It has twice been named by social mobility charity Sutton Trust as the UK’s best academy sponsor for empowering pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to perform above the national average, and the leading academy sponsor for Progress 8 and Attainment 8, which track pupil progress and achievement.
The organisation has also run pilots of skills programmes and summer schools with its family of schools, and last year ran an award-winning campaign encouraging City businesses to pay their staff the London Living Wage.
A total of 119 organisations employing over £1.1 million people in 18 sectors, including major retailers, financial institutions and Government departments, collectively employing one million people across the UK are signed up to the Social Mobility Employer Index.