Press releases

Deloitte puts increasing emphasis on improving social mobility

02 December 2014

Deloitte, the business advisory firm, and Teach First, the education charity, recently supported London’s St. Mary Magdalene Academy in hosting a visit from Martin Donnelly, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) Permanent Secretary. The visit demonstrated the thriving collaboration between Deloitte and Teach First, and their support of schools such as the Academy.

BIS Permanent Secretary Martin Donnelly, said: “This initiative helps us connect young people, with opportunities open to them in both public and private sectors. Visiting St. Mary Magdalene Academy and talking to students about the work we do in BIS was really worthwhile and enjoyable.”

David Barnes, managing partner for public policy and corporate responsibility at Deloitte, said: “It was an interactive visit that allowed Mr Donnelly and his colleagues to talk to the pupils, as well as observe and participate in a series of workshops run by Deloitte volunteers.”

The visit followed the recent announcement, by the Deputy Prime Minister and BIS, of Deloitte’s inclusion as one of the first Social Mobility Business Compact Champions. This identifies Deloitte as a business that is demonstrating leadership and exemplary practice in addressing and improving social mobility.

Barnes continued: “Supporting social mobility is a priority for the firm. We are particularly proud of our involvement with organisations that are the driving force behind the movement. The country’s future prosperity and growth is underpinned by the expansion of the professions. We must ensure that firms are recruiting the most talented people regardless of background. ”

Deloitte is involved in a number of programmes, initiatives and organisations* which aim to improve social mobility including:

Deloitte Access - Deloitte Access is an education programme delivered in collaboration with Teach First and is designed to raise aspiration, support achievement and provide opportunities for students in low-income communities.  Deloitte is working with 14 schools, including 13 Teach First schools in England and Wales. To date, more than 610 Deloitte employees have been involved in the programme, engaging with over 2,500 young people across the UK.

The Deloitte Micro-Tyco Student Challenge - Deloitte recently launched this year’s Deloitte Micro-Tyco Student Challenge into universities. It is taking its ongoing support for the Micro-Tyco challenge one step further by providing the opportunity for its people to guide participating teams in schools. Winning teams from both universities and schools have the opportunity to gain work experience at Deloitte and be fast tracked into a job.  

upReach – Deloitte is a founding partner of this social mobility charity and acts as a mentor to those taking part in the programme, as well as offering employment opportunities through it.

Access Accountancy – Deloitte was one of the accountancy firms involved in the introduction of Access Accountancy in June 2014 and is now actively involved in ensuring that the initiative meets the objectives set out at launch.  Access Accountancy sees all signatories committing to a range of activities to support social mobility including provision of high quality experiences of work for students from low-income backgrounds.

The way in which young recruits are selected by Deloitte is also being reassessed.

Stevan Rolls, partner and head of HR at Deloitte UK, said: “Every year we recruit more than 1,000 people into our graduate programme and our “BrightStart” school leaver scheme. What’s important now is that we take a more holistic approach to the assessment of student applicants. Typically we, and the rest of the industry, base our selection decisions on academic achievement and a relatively narrow range of other capabilities. While these tangible indicators provide a degree of insight into an individual’s potential, it’s important to find measures of latent ability that are less sensitive to socio-economic factors.”

Case Study: Kim Haughey, associate in tax

In her second year of university, Kim received an email about upReach, a new scheme which aimed to assist high potential undergraduates from less privileged backgrounds in accessing a professional career. Kim had been cautious when considering her plans after university as she doubted her ability to demonstrate her skills and didn’t feel she had the same level of help as some of her peers, from friends and family. However, upReach sounded like the perfect scheme to develop her skills and confidence, and help her secure the professional career she was hoping for. It has since supported her in joining Deloitte.

Kim said: “As a student, I often heard about the great team-culture that Deloitte offers in day-to-day work but the office atmosphere and my colleagues are even more friendly, approachable and supportive than I thought they would be. I felt like a member of the team from day one.”


Notes to editors

*Further details on programmes:

Deloitte Access - Deloitte has worked with Teach First, a charity that trains and supports new teachers to work in primary and secondary schools serving low-income communities, since it began 10 years ago. In 2013 Deloitte launched and developed an innovative new collaboration with Teach First, called Deloitte Access. It aims to raise aspiration, support achievement and provide opportunities for students in low-income communities. Deloitte will also be involved in the newly launched Teach First Futures programme through funding, the time and expertise of its people and will also offer employment for the students on it through the Deloitte Scholar programme.

The Micro-Tyco Challenge - An entrepreneurial challenge set up by WildHearts, a social enterprise, Micro-Tyco is a fantastic tool to develop entrepreneurial skills in students at school and university. It provides teams a ‘seed capital’ of £1 and they have one month to turn it into as much money as possible. In October 2013 the Deloitte Micro-Tyco Student Challenge was launched into UK Universities as a vehicle for identifying the leaders of the future and recruiting the best talent, irrespective of background or academic achievements.

upReach – Deloitte is a founding partner of this social mobility charity, which seeks to identify, select and develop undergraduates from less-privileged backgrounds to fulfil their career potential.

Access Accountancy - Access Accountancy is an ambitious collaboration of employers and professional bodies, dedicated to improving access to the accountancy profession. By working together and committing to measurable outcomes the firms hope to deliver real change and welcome talented and ambitious young people to the profession from all backgrounds.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

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