BIS awards Linklaters Social Mobility Business Champion status for the second time

Linklaters is the only magic circle law firm to be recognised for social mobility initiatives -

Linklaters has been named as the Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) Social Mobility Business Champion for the second time.  Linklaters is the only magic circle law firm to have been recognised as Champions by the initiative which was set up in 2011 to encourage employers across the UK to offer young people fair and open access to employment opportunities.

The Compact asks employers to open their doors to people from all walks of life, regardless of their background and encourage behavioural change in organisations.  The government has selected just 11 UK companies to be Champions this year, recognising those who are leading the charge in ensuring that young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds have a better chance of accessing and progressing in the workplace. The Champion tier of the Compact was launched in 2014 to increase the pace of change and encourage businesses to go further in their efforts to improve social mobility. 

Skills Minister, Nick Boles, said:

“The Social Mobility Champions have risen to the challenge set by Government and shown genuine commitment to bring about positive change.  They have gone beyond just volunteering in schools or changing the way they advertise jobs; they have made social mobility a core part of their corporate strategy.  I hope this will inspire other businesses to follow suit.”

Having ‘Champion’ status means that Linklaters pledges to take the message out to other businesses across the country.  This year the Champions are driving a new benchmark for social mobility by committing to meet a set of strict criteria, building on their existing work, including:

  • developing relationships with schools and young people
  • targeting efforts on institutions with above average levels of disadvantage
  • widening the geographical spread of opportunities
  • offering well-structured non-graduate entry-routes and driving forward recruitment practices that eliminate barriers to social mobility

Simon Branigan, Linklaters graduate recruitment partner, said:

“As Champions we will continue to lead the social mobility agenda to foster working environments in which individual differences are respected and valued, and everyone has the opportunity to excel.  In recent years, we, alongside other organisations, have worked hard to introduce a number of measures to  ensure that businesses recruit a diverse workforce focusing on strengths and aptitude, rather than experiences and achievements.

“Collaboration is key to success and we look forward to continuing to build on what we have already achieved and working alongside BIS and our fellow champions to inspire and support social mobility initiatives across the UK.”

This years Social Mobility Champions are KPMG, Grant Thornton, Baker McKenzie, Deloitte, Accenture, Aspire Group, Ernst and Young, Telefónica O2, Standard Life, and Mears Group.

Linklaters works with over 5,000 5-25 year olds every year to raise aspirations, achievement and access to employment, particularly for those who are disadvantaged. Staff become role models in a variety of ways through mentoring, tutoring, as work experience hosts, on career days, and as members of school governing bodies.

The Linklaters apprenticeship programme, established in 2011, was recognised in the UK legal Diversity Awards 2015, winning the Retention Talent Management category.  In addition, Linklaters became the first organisation to successfully achieve certification against the UK National Equality Standard (NES) and has been named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2015.