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Barts Health amongst top UK employers for social mobility

Barts Health NHS Trust has today been ranked as one of the top 75 employers in the Social Mobility Employer Index 2019.

Based in east London and home to some of the country's most ethnically diverse and deprived communities, it is one of only two NHS trusts to make the list, and was ranked 66th in the UK.

It is the third year running that the trust has been included in what is believed to be the world’s only index ranking employers on their efforts to access and progress talent from all class backgrounds.

The trust was hailed for its success in delivering schemes aimed at people from lower income and challenging backgrounds, from initial engagement, through to the recruitment and selection process, and progression up the ladder within the organisation. These included:

  • Reaching out to schools with above average levels of students on free school meals and without existing relationships with employers
  • Running mentoring to keep contact with young people at those schools
  • Offering a range of apprenticeships at various levels to provide a genuine progression route through the organisation
  • Retaining many apprentices in permanent positions
  • Working with local universities outside of the Russell Group to attract candidates from a diverse demographic
  • Taking a second-look at candidates who did not pass the initial assessment, giving them an opportunity to gain further NHS experience and apply again

Andrew Attfield, Associate Director of Public Health at Barts Health NHS Trust said: “Barts Health is on the road to becoming a real anchor institution for east London.  This means making sure that our employment opportunities are available to all, taking a proactive approach to social mobility issues, and increasing awareness of NHS career paths within our local communities.  We know we work in some of the most deprived communities in England so this work has a real impact on our patients and their families, and supports the reduction of health inequalities.”

The Rt Hon Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Foundation, added: "Social mobility is becoming a cause for more and more of our country's top employers. When politics is weak, society needs to be strong - so it is welcome a growing number of employers are stepping up to the plate. They recognise the need to open their doors to a wider pool of talent both to address growing public concerns about unfairness and to reap the business benefits from having more diverse workforces. The onus is now on all of our country's top employers to do the same."