Last updated: 23.05.14

Social mobility drive to ensure open employment opportunities

The government has put the spotlight on an initiative launched last year to ensure that fair and open access employment opportunities are open to all young people. 

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg launched the Social Mobility Business Compact in April 2013, in a bid to encourage people coming together within communities and schools to raise aspirations among young people.

Being part of the compact will enable individuals and businesses an opportunity to share employment best practice with one another as well as helping to shape government policy. One of the ways that businesses can get involved is by providing opportunities for young people to enter the job market and to ensure that they are recruiting openly and fairly, in a non-discriminatory manner.

The compact is based on the belief that in a fair society, success should be a measure of how hard a person works and the skills and talents that they have, rather than where they come from or who their parents are. As it stands, however, this is not always the case.

According to the government: "Children from poorer homes are far less likely to achieve their potential than other children and who your parents are appears to have a bigger impact on your future in the UK than in many other countries."

As well as ensuring that employability is as fair as possible, another way of encouraging social mobility is by enabling those from poorer economic backgrounds to develop the skills and talents required for a successful career in their chosen industry. 

This can be done in schools and in the workplace, where training programmes will often enable employers staff to develop staff with the skill set they require for far cheaper than trying to identify them through recruitment drives.

In fact, a recent report from PwC suggests that companies could collectively save more than £1.2 billion a year in recruitment costs annually by making better use of their existing staff.