Employers have a huge part to play in the levelling up agenda, and the Index demonstrates what is possible if organisations commit to supporting young people from all backgrounds.
The Index was created by the Social Mobility Foundation in 2017 and ranks UK’s employers on the action they take to ensure they are open to and progressing talent from all backgrounds. It highlights the employers who are doing the most to change how they find, recruit, and advance talented employees from different social class backgrounds.
Now in its fourth year, the Employer Index is the definitive benchmark of organisations committed to improving social mobility in the workplace.
Employers are assessed across seven key areas, these include their work with young people, routes into the company, how they attract talent, recruitment and selection, data collection, progression, experienced hires, and advocacy.
This year, 119 employers from 17 sectors, who collectively employ almost one million in the UK, answered around 100 questions across seven different areas. Over 14,000 employees also took part in a voluntary employee survey.
Mears has been ranked in the listed Top 75 employers in the Index for the work we have done to tackle this issue, ensuring we enable those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to succeed.
Being the only organisation representing the housing sector in this multi-sector accreditation, Mears has been recognised and ranked in the 45th position on the index for leading the way in removing the barriers which are holding back the best and brightest candidates in our communities.
Measures taken by Mears to improve social mobility included:
- 67 Management Qualifications
- Over 540 apprentices
- 142 NVQ level 2 and 3 qualifications
- Selecting an employee director to sit on our board
- Working to increase the number of women in the sector through our Tradeswomen into Maintenance project
Last year, Mears began working with the Social Mobility Pledge led by former Cabinet Minister Justine Greening.
As a mark of our commitment, Mears signed the pledge alongside 24 major UK businesses, including 12 of the FTSE100 and 15 Universities to create a network of employers committed to social mobility.
In October, Justine delivered the outcome of our work in Rotherham –to celebrate not just what we have achieved but to publicly say to communities like Rotherham – we are still here and we will still offer anyone the path to an amazing skillset and career.
Mears Executive Director, Alan Long, said:
“We are proud to be recognised as one of the top employers that are committed to improving people’s lives.
As a business, we are literally rooted in the communities where we work. Whether that’s by interacting with people as customers or by being large community employers.
“These are difficult times and we have seen the worst collapse in employment in our lifetimes – a devastation which has made every recession pale into insignificance. We already know that the communities who will suffer most will be those communities where social mobility matters most.
“We take our responsibility to social mobility very seriously and hope that wherever we work we contribute to that society as an employer, as a local partner and as a driver of opportunity.”
Sarah Atkinson, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said:
“I am delighted that Mears committed to entering the Index this year despite the challenges they have faced in the wake of the pandemic. Now more than ever, we need to see business play their part in the levelling up agenda.”
The Rt. Hon. Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, added:
“As the Covid-19 crisis continues and the UK descends into a sharp recession, more will need to be done to avoid a job catastrophe, for young people particularly. Already 60% of the jobs that have been lost since the pandemic began have been among 18-24 year olds.
“I urge those sectors of our economy that are not represented in this year’s Index to participate in 2021 and commit to joining the ranks of those employers who are already making such a difference to young people’s life chances.”