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29 July 2019

UK Social Mobility Awards, in association with Capita, announces 2019 shortlist

The UK Social Mobility Awards aim to make the advancement of social mobility a key part of how organisations and businesses in the UK are run.

The UK Social Mobility Awards celebrate and recognise the forward-thinking organisations developing initiatives to promote social mobility across the country – either within their own workforces or by influencing the wider debate in society.

Now in their third year, the awards have received an incredible response – with 115 organisations submitting applications which have now been reduced to a shortlist of 57.

The shortlist represents a range of organisations, institutions and businesses – all of which have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives.

The judging panel includes prominent figures from the worlds of business, charity, politics and the public sector, and includes Will Serle, Capita’s Chief People Officer. The independent judging panel will determine the winners, to be announced at an awards gala on 10 October 2019.

Capita has been the proud headline sponsor of the awards since 2018.

Jon Lewis talking at the 2018 UKSMA event

Capita's CEO, Jon Lewis talking at last year's UK Social Mobility Awards.

We are proud to again be headline sponsor of the UK Social Mobility Awards. With an increased number of applications this year, the awards are really gaining momentum and driving action on social mobility. I believe enabling talented individuals across our communities to flourish and succeed – and encouraging diversity of thought – are critical for us in business, as well as for wider society.

Jon Lewis

Chief Executive Officer, Capita

It is an honour to be on the judging panel of the 2019 UK Social Mobility Awards. Social mobility requires collective action and it is inspiring to see how businesses, schools, universities and individuals are working together to make sure that everyone has a fair chance of fulfilling their potential, regardless of their background. I know that the finalists and the awards themselves will encourage others to do more and play their part.

Will Serle

Chief People Officer, Capita


The shortlist is as follows:

Organisation of the Year           

  • Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Grant Thornton UK
  • Willmott Dixon
  • Civil Service Fast Stream and Early Talent


  • Rothschild & Co
  • Accenture
  • Siemens
  • Fremantle
  • Bauer Media
  • Kier

Leadership of the Year       

  • Buildforce
  • BPP University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Stafford Long
  • DWP
  • Ministry of Justice

Recruitment Programme of the Year

  • Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Office of the Public Guardian
  • Aon
  • Ashurst LLP
  • Mayer Brown International LLP
  • Greene King

Progression Programme of the Year

  • Google UK
  • Rexel UK Limited
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • United Utilities
  • WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC

Community Programme of the Year

  • Nissan Motor Manufacturing
  • Simmons & Simmons
  • Sweco
  • HM Revenue and Customs
  • Reed Smith

School/College of the Year

  • Harris Westminster Sixth Form
  • Southmoor Academy
  • Latymer Upper School
  • Reigate Grammar School
  • Christ's Hospital
  • Bodmin College

University of the Year

  • Kingston University
  • Middlesex University
  • University of Worcester
  • The Open University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Newcastle University

Individual Categories

Champion of the Year    

  • Malcolm Gomersall - Grant Thornton UK LLP
  • Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE - Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Will Richardson - PwC
  • David Bates - Marks & Spencer
  • Tia Castagno - Vizeum
  • Sandra Wallace - DLA Piper

Mentor of the Year

  • Franklin Asante - Coutts
  • Lerato Marema - Deloitte
  • Geraldine Clement - Cabinet Office
  • Claire Preston - ENGIE
  • Julie Lindsay - Office of the Public Guardian
  • Meryem Ertac - PwC

Rising Star   

  • Leticia Oladele - KPMG UK
  • Milambo Makani – FreshfieldsBruckhaus Deringer
  • Matthew Campling - Linklaters LLP
  • Nadia Mensah - PwC
  • Louisa Burden-Garabedian - Penguin Random House UK
  • Ashley Daniells - RPC

The UK Social Mobility Awards is organised by leading Social Mobility charity Making The Leap, who have supported over 50,000 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds since 1993.

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