Social mobility

As a major employer, we believe we can play a positive role in increasing social mobility through our recruitment, development and progression, community and advocacy activities.

Our aim is to:

  • lead by example as an employer and be recognised as an inclusive organisation where people from all backgrounds are able to work, develop and succeed
  • use our skills and resources to enable people from disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK to make the most of their potential, whether at PwC or elsewhere.

We look to achieve this by focusing on the following areas:

  1. Inclusion
    • attracting and recruiting more people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
    • helping everyone we recruit to develop and progress while they’re at PwC.
  2. Community
    • supporting social mobility within disadvantaged communities.
    • delivering volunteering programmes for our people to support the above.
  3. Advocacy
    • Advocating the importance of increased social mobility and the impact of our strategy and actions to both our internal and external stakeholders.
    • Collaborating with others and using our influence to achieve the multiplier effect.

In 2017, we set out a five-year plan to help advance social mobility in the UK. See how we’re making progress below.

Our 5 point social mobility action plan

This is our five year plan to help advance social mobility by focussing on raising aspiration, access and awareness.

Workplace skills

Goal: Help 25,000 young people develop workplace skills through programmes with schools and colleges across the UK, with a particular focus on social mobility coldspot areas.

Progress: We worked with 10,130 pupils in FY18 and, in FY19, reached a total of 21,336 young people - helping them to develop skills and access careers in business, whether at PwC or beyond, irrespective of their background

Paid work experience

Goal: Provide paid work experience places for at least 1,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds

Progress: We've more than doubled the number of people from less privileged backgrounds doing work experience with us, delivering 78 placements in FY18 and 161 in FY19. Going forward, we'll be recruiting over 500 students onto work experience placements, with 250 places on the programme specifically targeted at and held for those from less privileged backgrounds. Work experience placements will take place virtually in 2020 due to COVID-19, with places available to all programme applicants due to the virtual nature of these sessions.

Technology skills

Goal: Provide technology degree and data science graduate apprenticeship positions to 100 young people a year across the UK, allowing these students to develop in-demand skills with no tuition fees.

Progress: Since 2018, we've welcomed over 200 students onto our Technology Degree Apprenticeships across the UK with the universities of Birmingham, Queen’s (Belfast) Edinburgh, St Andrews and Leeds. These students are now progressing through the degree programme, gaining work experience and professional skills with us, along with a salary and benefits. We will welcome around another 100 students to the programme in Autumn 2020.

Cornerstone employer

Goal: Be a cornerstone employer in Bradford and support the government’s social mobility agenda.

Progress: In 2019, we opened our new Assurance Competency Centre in Bradford where we now employ around 135 people, giving people in the city access to quality employment and meeting the skills needs of our business. As a cornerstone employer, we also work with public and private sector partners to provide mentoring, skills development and workplace experiences for local school students.

Social enterprises

Goal: Support the development and skills training of 250 social enterprises across the country and commit to spending at least ten million pounds through our supply chain with social enterprises

Progress: Our Social Entrepreneurs Club provides mentoring, training and developmental support to 250 social enterprises across the UK, including more than 40 in our supply chain. During FY19 we contributed £1.6 million to the social enterprise sector through direct purchases or by providing other valuable financial support, taking us to almost 60% of our 2022 target.

We also have our own social enterprise, Brigade, which supports those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness into a career in the catering industry. Brigade is now approaching it’s eighth year, having trained over 1,200 people into jobs and 135 apprentices.


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Hollie Crompton

Social Mobility Lead

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