Top three place for Severn Trent in Social Mobility Index

8th October 2019

Company committed to helping people from social mobility cold spots find and develop careers

Midlands water and waste company Severn Trent has been named as one of the top companies for helping social mobility in the country.
The company has been named in third place in the Social Mobility Index which is further recognition of the company’s commitment to helping people from all backgrounds not only get suitable roles within the business but also to get on in their careers once they’re in.
Neil Morrison, HR Director at Severn Trent, said: “This is fantastic news, not only for us as a company but also for people who live in our patch which features some areas where it’s really hard to find a job let alone build a career.
“We’re absolutely committed to social mobility and have made changes to the way we do things to make it easier for people to join us. So we target schools in areas of low social mobility and have a fairer recruitment process that gives opportunities to everyone, regardless of their background.”
To date, almost half of Severn Trent’s new hires come from areas identified as being social mobility cold spots and just under half of all promotions within the company have been awarded to staff from cold spots.  
The company has also signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge, a campaign co-founded by Justine Greening MP to challenge the UK’s poor record on social mobility.
The Index itself 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 7 different areas. Over 14,000 employees also took part in a voluntary employee survey.
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."