Press release

Social mobility business compact

As part of the coalition government’s social mobility strategy, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched a business compact asking businesses to contribute.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

As part of the coalition government’s social mobility strategy, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched a business compact, asking businesses to do their bit.

The strategy aims to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.

The business compact builds on Every Business Commits, working to remove barriers to success. This is good for us all, stopping talent and potential from being wasted and creating a more productive, more mobile society.

The social mobility business compact calls on businesses to commit to:

1) Support communities and local schools

  • participate in mentoring schemes for young people, allow staff time off and reward them for getting involved and enable schools and businesses to work together
  • encourage staff at least once a year to talk about their careers as part of a programme to raise aspiration and build knowledge about the world of work

2) Improve skills and create jobs by providing opportunities for all young people to get a foot on the ladder

  • advertise work experience opportunities in local schools rather than filling them through informal networks
  • offer internships openly and transparently and provide financial support to ensure fair access

3) Improve quality of life and wellbeing by recruiting openly and fairly, ensuring non-discrimination

  • including increased use of name-blank and school-blank applications where appropriate

The Deputy Prime Minister said:

The true test of fairness is equality of opportunity. That is why improving social mobility - giving people a chance to do better - is, alongside reducing the deficit and creating growth, one of the coalition’s key priorities.

The fact is, workplaces across Britain desperately need to be opened up. Too often it’s who you know, not what you know, that counts.

That’s why, as part of the social mobility strategy, we have set up a business compact which commits businesses to opening their doors to give people the break they need.

The principles behind the compact are simple: fairness, opportunity, investing a little more time in the next generation — your future workforce.

I am delighted that so many of the country’s biggest organisations and employers have already signed up to these important principles. I want to encourage every major employer in the country to join too.

Get involved

For more information please email

What businesses are already doing

There is some great work already being done by some of our leading businesses.

See what businesses are already doing as part of the business compact.

Published 2 December 2011