The Education Partnerships Awards: KPMG

Finalist for Business in the Community’s Education Partnerships Award 2019.

KPMG: Support for students in social mobility ‘cold spots’ is boosting attainment and creating workforce of the future

  • 184,000 hours of KPMG employee volunteering in four years
  • By 2022, education programmes will have reached 65,000 young people
  • 95% of staff reported improvements in their communication skills 

Where you’re from, and who your parents are has a profound impact on the opportunities available in life. For example, just one in eight disadvantaged children in the UK is likely to become a high-income earner1

Through its education programme, KPMG wants to break this cycle. It has spent the past 20 years trying to alleviate barriers to social mobility across the UK and giving opportunities to young people to improve their skills, confidence and career aspirations.

“Too often, an individual’s life chances are dictated by their socio-economic background, rather than their talent, potential or work ethic. Our education programmes help build our connection to our local communities. It feeds into our, and our clients’, talent pipeline. And, on top of all that, the programmes provide opportunities for our colleagues to boost their personal and professional development through skilled volunteering.”

Melanie Richards, Deputy Chair, KPMG in the UK

The company, a leading audit, tax and advisory business with 22 UK offices, has dedicated 184,000 hours of KPMG employee time to the cause during the past four years. By 2022, it will have reached 65,000 young people. Working with 130 schools serving less advantaged communities and more than 2,000 students in social mobility cold spots each year, the education programme provides financial investment to educational organisations, as well as the time, skills and expertise of KPMG staff acting as volunteers. 

The approach has been successful: 100% of students on KPMG reader partner programmes were selected on the basis they had a below-average reading age, with all teachers agreeing that the programme contributed to improved reading attainment.

On average, GCSE students enrolled on KPMG’s programme with the Access Project outperformed their peers at the same school by 1.1 grades in their tutored subject – and of the 2,000 students supported through KPMG’s WorkReady employability programme in 2018, 85% reported an increased understanding of what employers are looking for with more than 80% reporting improvements in problem-solving skills. 

For the business, the education programmes are a strategic imperative. Volunteering is integrated across relevant learning and development opportunities, and, through volunteering, 95% of staff have reported improvements in their communication skills. 

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

  1. State of the Nation report on social mobility in Great Britain,…