EY is one of 11 companies to achieve Social Mobility Business Compact Champion status, announced by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills today.
The Government standard recognises employers who are leading the way in opening up the world of work to young people from all backgrounds, setting an example to others, and helping to increase the pace of change to improve social mobility.
To achieve champion status, employers must meet a set of criteria, including: demonstrating how they are supporting their local communities and schools, providing opportunities for all young people to get a foot on the jobs ladder, and recruiting openly and fairly.
Skills Minister Nick Boles said: “The Social Mobility Champions have risen to the challenge set by government and shown genuine commitment to bring about positive change.
“They have gone beyond just volunteering in schools or changing the way they advertise jobs; they have made social mobility a core part of their corporate strategy. I hope this will inspire other businesses to follow suit.”
Notably in August 2015, EY transformed its student recruitment process by removing the academic entry criteria for applications to the school leaver, undergraduate and graduate programmes. The firm has since seen a 49 per cent increase in applications, with 15 per cent of applicants progressing through to assessment level that would not have been eligible to apply under the previous system.
Mandy Love, partner at EY, said: “Achieving Social Mobility Champion status is testament to the strides we have made in creating a working environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
“It is a commercial imperative for our business to recruit and retain talented individuals from all walks of life. Different opinions and perspectives help to provide our clients with an exceptional level of service.
“We are opening up access to the profession by removing barriers to entry, such as academic criteria, and creating more routes into the firm, to suit young people.”
Just last week EY announced it was opening 200 apprenticeships from September 2016 to school leavers across the country, supporting the Government’s ambition to create three million apprenticeships.
The firm will augment its existing school leaver programme with an Ofsted accredited apprenticeship scheme, with students now receiving a professional apprenticeship qualification. The full-time role will have a starting salary of up to £21,500 and the career path and experiences will be the same as for graduates.
Mandy Love added: “Taking part in the social mobility compact has helped us to better understand how we can improve social mobility in our own firm, take action to limit inhibitors, and share best practice with others to encourage them to do the same.
“A collective approach with our peers, other employers and government will help to achieve greater social mobility for Britain’s young people.”