Last night Tim Campbell MBE, Mayor’s Ambassador for Youth, Co-founder of the Bright Ideas Trust and 2005 BBC Real Apprentice winner, stood alongside Mark Boleat, the City of London Corporation’s Chairman of Policy and Resources to welcome companies including Macquarie, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Nomura and many other London Works clients to the beautiful surroundings of the Guildhall for the unveiling of the forward strategy of specialist diversity, social mobility and inclusion recruitment agency, London Works, an affiliate of ELBA.
Over 160 employers, education and public sector stakeholders including the DWP demonstrated their commitment to widening their candidate talent pools to include high performing candidates from poorer backgrounds.
Mark Boleat, the City of London Corporation’s Chairman of Policy and resources, welcomed guests to the prestigious Old Library to celebrate the success of the agency’s first year of trading. He said: “The Milburn Report on access to the professions has made social mobility a hot topic in recent years, yet despite this, the UK has continued to see widening economic inequality and decreasing social mobility since about 1980.” “A study by the Boston Consulting Group calculates that stalled social mobility is costing the UK between £56bn and £140bn annually in lost GDP.” “Despite challenges, the needle is moving with new research making it increasingly clear that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially” “However, far too many employers are, unknowingly and unintentionally, using recruitment and selection methods that present barriers to candidates from less privileged backgrounds.” “By knocking these barriers to social mobility down, London Works is making it easy for employers to find talent –in untapped pools. To fail to participate would be short sighted for London’s employers. The London Works companies present pledged to take the message out to other businesses across the region and work to challenge unconscious bias within their own recruitment processes.
In his speech, Tim Campbell, MBE, highlighted that we are all susceptible to a multitude of so-called unconscious biases. He explained that these biases are hardwired into everyone’s mind and he exhibited how some forms of bias can hold us or - when in the position of being a hiring manager - others back. He applauded the examples of good practice in recruitment emerging from the London Works approach to blending blind and contextualised recruitment stages for the benefit of improved diversity.
Sir Stephen O’Brien, London Works Chairman thanked key employers, stakeholders and the backers of the social business for sharing ELBA’s vision for change. ELBA, London Works parent charity, represented by master of ceremonies, Liam Kane, Chief Executive described the proposition to employers as ‘simple’ He said “The commitment, aspirations and enthusiasm displayed by young volunteers during the 2012 Olympics showed the world something that we at ELBA have long believed. There is nothing but the lack of social capital and access to real opportunities holding young people back from improving their prospects – London Works bridges that gap.”
Julie Hutchinson, London Works Managing Director, later commented ‘We are here to help employers, who by and large already support schools and young people through their CSR programmes- to deliver on the promise of aspiration - by hiring more people from non-traditional backgrounds. The business benefits are just as good as the social benefits so it’s a great time to get involved.”
A video highlighting the London Works offer can be found here.
A summary of our forward strategy can be found here.
(Published 27 March 2015)