Mears ranked as one of the Top 75 employers in what is believed to be the world’s only Social Mobility Employer Index.
The Index is the creation of the Social Mobility Foundation and ranks Britain’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all class backgrounds.
Employers are assessed on everything from the work they do with young people and their apprenticeships, through to their recruitment and selection processes and how people from lower income backgrounds progress up the ladder within their organisations.
125 employers from 18 sectors, who collectively employ over 1.1 million people 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 36 in the Index for the commendable work it has taken to tackle this and enable those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to succeed. Measures taken by the company to improve social mobility include:
- Working directly with schools on social value projects with 11,300 pupils
- 45 Management Apprentices
- 70 pre-employment students
- 607 apprentices, plus 48 completers
- 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
Mears’ adult education programme enables its colleagues to upskill and also members of the local community who are long-term unemployed.
Mears’ success in the Index was announced at a launch event at the Francis Crick Institute.
Alan Long, Mears Executive Director said: “Mears is a business literally rooted in the communities we work. Whether that’s by interacting with people as customers or by being large community employers. 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.
“I couldn’t be prouder to have been recognised in this way and I’m sure that my colleagues who have learnt a trade and have a whole new world of opportunities open to them would agree.”
David Johnston OBE, Chief Executive of the Social Mobility Foundation, said: “We are delighted to see more and more employers every year taking part in our Social Mobility Employer Index. The quality of submissions this year meant we have increased the size of our Top list from 50 to 75 and it shows the very wide range of organisations trying to make progress on social mobility. Whilst no employer would say they have cracked their social mobility challenge, all of the employers in the Top list — along with those that didn’t quite make it — should be congratulated for the efforts they’re making to ensure their organisation is open to talent from all class backgrounds.”
The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, added: “Social mobility is becoming a cause for more and more of our country’s top employers. When politics is weak, society needs to be strong — so it is welcome a growing number of employers are stepping up to the plate. They recognise the need to open their doors to a wider pool of talent both to address growing public concerns about unfairness and to reap the business benefits from having more diverse workforces. The onus is now on all of our country’s top employers to do the same.”