Declare the social mix of your staff, British companies told

Alan Milburn, head of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, condemns the scale of ‘elitism’ at the top of British public life as he calls for companies to engineer a more socially-balanced workforce.

Companies should be told to declare the social background of their workforce to combat a “deeply elitist” culture at the top of public life, the Government’s social mobility tsar has suggested.

Employers should effectively discriminate against applicants from private schools as part of a drive to stop the judiciary, Armed Forces, politics, media and the medical profession being turned into a “cosy club”, it is claimed in a report.

Alan Milburn, the chairman of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission and a former Labour cabinet minister, said drastic action was needed to “break open Britain’s elite” and prevent institutions being dominated by those from a narrow range of schools and universities.

Employers should make a “contextual evaluation” of applicants’ academic achievements to give greater weighting to those with good grades from poor-performing schools, it was suggested. The report said private firms and public sector employers should publish data on the social background of their staff to encourage them to widen their mix.

They should also run “university-blind applications” to give equal weighting to those from lower-ranking institutions. The recommendations were made as the report highlighted the “dramatic over-representation” of former private school pupils and Oxbridge graduates in senior roles.


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