The Connected Places Award: KPMG

KPMG is using its networks and own experienced people to build a collaboration of businesses, schools, charities and the public sector to improve social mobility.
Finalist for Business in the Community’s Connected Places Award 2019

KPMG: Collaborating to target social mobility ‘cold spots’ gives time, skills and expertise where it is needed most

  • More than 3,100 KPMG staff volunteer
  • Only 1 in 8 children from lower socio-economic backgrounds will become high earners
  • 1,000 students gained skills through WorkReady

In the UK, just one in eight children from a disadvantaged background will go on to become a high-income earner1.

It is a situation KPMG, a global tax, audit and advisory firm, has chosen to address in the UK, both through its own endeavours and by encouraging other organisations – including businesses – to do the same.  

“We know that in order to maximise our impact, it’s essential to take a place-based approach, driving our activities towards social mobility cold spots Opportunity Areas and areas of high deprivation across the UK. By bringing our time, skills and expertise to bear on issues in these areas, we know we can improve opportunity for individuals.”

Nicola Quayle, Office Senior Partner, KPMG  

Its strategy is based on using its networks and own experienced people to build a collaboration of businesses, schools, charities and the public sector. This is to understand the community and build skills and aspirations in social mobility ‘cold spots’ and Opportunity Areas, places where young people most need career support, close to its offices in places such as Norwich, Fenland & East Cambridgeshire, and Oldham. KPMG’s support is targeted using an algorithm created with the Bridge Group to pinpoint exactly where interventions are needed most.  

As a result, through WorkReady, KPMG work with other businesses in the community to support more than 1,000 students to develop essential skills and increase awareness of the future of work. 

Additionally, KPMG provides schools with numeracy toolkits and volunteers as part of National Numeracy Day. It funds parental toolkits across East Cambridgeshire and helps with remote reading provision in primary schools in Bradford.  

This approach is helping to underpin the firm’s success, by building a good pipeline of local, diverse talent, establishing client relationships in the area, and building trust in the KPMG brand. In 2017-18, more than 3,100 KPMG staff volunteered, delivering 48,000 hours of work in the community, reaching more than 21,000 people – 12 per cent of this number was in cold spots. 

Unless otherwise stated, the information in this impact story has been supplied by KPMG.

  1. Social Mobility Commission. State of the Nation 2016: Social Mobility in Great Britain. Available at

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