MI6 drive to recruit working class spies sees it named one of UK’s best employers for social mobility

A total of 125 employers who employ over 1.1 million people in the UK across 18 different sectors volunteered themselves for entry in this year’s Index, answering around 100 questions across seven key areas. 

The Index ranks the UK’s employers on the actions they are taking to ensure they are open to accessing and progressing talent from all backgrounds. It highlights the employers doing the most to change the way they find, recruit and progress talented employees from different social class backgrounds.

The top five companies as accountancy and consultancy firms PwC, KPMG UK LLP, the water company, Severn Trent, property company JLL and multinational law firm, Baker McKenzie.

Researchers also found that 85% of respondents to a question about client priorities said they feel their clients want them to be diverse in terms of socio-economic background – almost as close as employers who said race (96%) and gender (99%).

Nearly 40% ask whether or not candidates were eligible for Free School Meals, whilst almost 20% ask the postcode candidates grew up in and 17% the occupation of their parents. 

 Research has consistently shown that people from more affluent backgrounds take a disproportionate number of the best jobs and that employers tend to disproportionately employ graduates who went to private schools and a small number of universities.

The charity said that while the results of this year’s survey are promising “there is still more progress to be made”. 

Oxford and Cambridge university are still visited by Index entrants more than 72 universities combined (although this has fallen from 2017 when they were visited more than 110 universities combined).

The SIS, commonly known as MI6, is the foreign intelligence service of the UK government. It is tasked mainly with the covert overseas collection and analysis of human intelligence in support of national security.