Severn Trent comes out on top for improving social mobility in the UK

Tuesday 31st October 2023

Severn Trent’s commitment to improving social mobility in the Midlands has again been recognised, as it’s named as one of the top performing companies in the UK.

The Midlands based water and waste company for the fifth year running has placed in the top ten in the latest Social Mobility Employer Index, coming in at eighth. Severn Trent joins other UK companies positively recognised for their work such as Accenture, Department for Work and Pensions and KPMG UK.

The Social Mobility Index that’s in its seventh year, ranks UK employers on the actions they’re taking to ensure they’re open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds. It helps to promote fairness in who gets in, who gets on and who belongs in the workplace by assessing the steps being taken by employers to ensure talent from all social backgrounds is considered.

Severn Trent’s work in this area has seen the company recruit 40% of new apprentices and graduates from a lower socio-economic backgrounds, completed its commitment to provide over 100,000 hours of free employability training for anyone living in its region, provided young people from low-income families with financial support through university with funding and internships, and kicked off a commitment that by 2030 it will have helped 100,000 people with gaining skills and training to help with finding work, while lifting them out of water poverty. It’s also committed in creating 500 work experience opportunities a year for young people, as it partners with schools in some of the most deprived areas in the Midlands, and this year has hosted 257 work experience placements for young people.

Neil Morrison, HR Director at Severn Trent, said: “We’re really lucky that our region is full of diversity, and we want to make sure our workforce reflects that so we’re incredibly proud of placing in the top ten for another year. There’s pools of untapped talent and skills within our communities that we know help us deliver the best service for our customers. That’s why we work hard to make sure that we’re reaching all corners of our region to help give everyone the same opportunity, and truly believe in recruiting on someone’s potential, not their previous experience or qualifications.”

An example of the work Severn Trent is doing to improve social mobility, includes providing bursaries to young people living in its region to support with university.

Lumumba is a chemical engineering student at Birmingham University was awarded with a bursary to support with his studies through the ‘Andy Duff Bursary’ programme. The bursary meant Lumumba was able to buy a new laptop for coursework and was supported with his fees, as well as having a mentor to help build his network and accessing more opportunities. He also had an internship at the company, helping to open doors and gain skills and experiences thanks to the bursary and Severn Trent.

Lumumba adds: “The support from Severn Trent has been very helpful because I didn’t have to think about going to work to pay for University, I could focus solely on my degree and the bursary helped cover some of the expenses. The placement and mentor at Severn Trent also helped me grow as a person and develop on some skills and really helped build my confidence, so I’m really thankful for the support and opportunities.”

Severn Trent is always looking for great people, and recently announced it is creating 7,000 jobs for the Midlands, either directly or through it supply chain.

The company will be looking for skills and experience for a variety of roles, as well as continue to have lots of opportunities like placements, apprenticeships and internships that are available for anyway, regardless of background.

Understand more about the jobs, opportunities and what it’s like to work at Severn Trent here:

To read more on the index, and a full list of the top employers and work the Social Mobility Foundation does, visit: