Deloitte, Jacobs, Tong Leadership Academy - Business in the Community

Deloitte, Jacobs, Tong Leadership Academy

Leading professional services firm Deloitte UK, and the technical specialists firm Jacobs, are both represented on Business in the Community’s (BITC) Yorkshire and Humber Leadership Board. Together with other businesses in the region, Deloitte and Jacobs work proactively and collaboratively to support opportunities for local people. Part of this approach involves working closely with education providers in the region, and Tong Leadership Academy in Bradford is just one example of a school that is benefiting from the skills, experience, and expertise of colleagues from two of the UK’s leading responsible businesses.

Deloitte UK

Deloitte UK is a leading professional services firm, one of the largest in the UK and part of a global network spanning 150 countries and territories. Its 20,000 UK employees have a wide range of specialist skills, which clients rely on to help them with programmes and projects that are critical to their success. Purpose is central to Deloitte’s culture, and a key part of this is its 5 Million Futures programme. This initiative, which expanded from the successful 1 Million Futures programme, aims to support over 5 million people by 2030. It will help people to develop job skills, improve educational outcomes and access employment opportunities.


Jacobs provides a full spectrum of professional services for the government and private sector. With a global talent force of more than 55,000 people, Jacobs is committed to ‘challenging today’, to respond to increasing global complexity, and ‘reinventing tomorrow’ by creating brilliant solutions for clients, fostering an inclusive working culture, and making a positive difference in communities. Jacobs’ ‘PlanBeyond’ sustainability strategy sets about ensuring long-term business resilience and success while positively contributing to the economy, society and the environment.

Developing effective partnerships

Helen Kaye, Partner at Deloitte, and Chair of BITC’s Yorkshire and Humber Leadership Team, and Leighton Cardwell, Director of Operations at Jacobs, have been instrumental in developing effective partnerships with Tong Leadership Academy. “Deloitte’s work with Tong Leadership Academy began as a mentoring relationship, with colleagues supporting learners through the Teach First programme,” says Helen. “Since those early days, we have broadened our support, reaching different year groups, supporting teachers, and working with the school, virtually or face-to-face.”

“Tong Leadership Academy is one of nine schools and academies we support in Bradford,” says Leighton, “and each offers a vital opportunity to engage and inspire learners and build both their and our understanding of employment opportunities in engineering.” Jacobs has supported the academy by providing mentors for sixth form students to help them improve their interviewing and presentation skills, building relationships with nearby universities for open days. They are also offering both in-person and virtual office visits so learners can get a taste for potential future career opportunities.

Removing barriers through skills volunteering

By connecting young learners with employees, Helen emphasises how Deloitte UK’s long-term partnership with Tong Leadership Academy has led to inspiring connections for the school and the firm. “Prior to this relationship, we had not formalised our local offers of volunteering and mentoring work in the area,” says Helen, “and our people, whether established colleagues or new recruits are always looking for ways they can bring their skills to help support the region’s future.” As well as providing laptops and donations to support young people through the pandemic, Deloitte’s involvement with BITC in Yorkshire and Humber has helped place Tong Leadership Academy on the map for other structural support. Through connections with Big Change, an education charity, Tong Leadership Academy students will hear from racing driver Nicolas Hamilton, as he shares insights from his career and long-term struggle with illness.

Through its relationships with Tong Leadership Academy and other local schools, Jacobs has built new opportunities in its talent pipeline, designed to encourage female, Asian recruits into its ground, tunnelling and Geotech teams. “Our teams have reached out to Bradford schools to speak with young women and demonstrate the potential opportunities on offer through our major engineering projects” says Leighton. “We now have a really strong cohort in our HS2 and Northern Powerhouse rail projects of people coming into roles who perhaps had not felt confident to progress in the field. This is all helping us to meet our targets of having a 50:50 gender split in our tunnel and engineering teams.”

How you can support inclusive skills and employment opportunities

Members of BITC can access resources, exclusive events, and expert guidance to support the way they build resilience and opportunities in communities. By joining BITC, you can join a network of more than 600 progressive businesses that look beyond the profit motive, who want to make a difference within society and who are prepared to collaborate to bring about change.

Business in the Community Advisory Services

BITC Community Advisers support businesses to drive a skilled and inclusive workforce by embedding essential skills and creating successful education partnerships through our Business Class Framework, developed in partnership with Lancaster University. Our advisers can also work with you to design and develop sustainable and impactful initiatives to build stronger communities.

Contact the Advisory Team to find out more.

Look beyond the profit motive