This is the UK’s only awards event dedicated to recognising the achievements of organisations and individuals in promoting social mobility. It celebrated its third year with a fantastic gala at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.

The winning entries of the third iteration of the UK Social Mobility Awards, in association with Capita, were announced at a dazzling awards ceremony last night. The Awards celebrated the organisations embedding social mobility as a core business strategy, both within their own workforces and by influencing the debate from beyond their own walls.

By celebrating those committed to doing things differently and raising awareness of best practice, these awards aim to advance the practical implementation of social mobility in this country and create a movement of institutions committed to making change happen.

The night began with a drinks reception and three-course meal, providing an opportunity for attendees to network and cement relationships brought about by a commitment to equality. The gala evening was hosted by TV and Radio presenter Andrew Castle, and guests were entertained by the Chineke! Orchestra, before the winners were announced and presented with their awards.

The Awards, which are sponsored by the RAF and Antin Infrastructure Partners, received an impressive array of entries from across the UK and from a range of sectors and industries that have demonstrated excellence in their social mobility initiatives. Entries were judged by a prestigious judging panel, made up of leading figures in business, charity, politics and the public sector.

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE, Chair of the Judging Panel for the awards, commented: The SOMOs shine a light on the successful organisations who have discovered the benefits of finding, recruiting, growing and promoting talented team members regardless of their upbringing. In this way, the SOMOs are proving how social mobility delivers through competitive advantage to a wide range of organisations across the spectrum.”

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“Social inequality is a problem that nobody sane is opposed to solving, but that still to a varying degree is apparent in all societies. I believe a good way to find solutions is to focus minds and to share instances of good practice. For this reason, Capita is delighted to sponsor the UK Social Mobility Awards for a second year in succession.” Jon Lewis, CEO at Capita, headline sponsors of the awards

Tunde Banjoko OBE, Founder, The UK Social Mobility Awards, added: “This year’s entries reveal that there is much good work going on, but there is still much more to do, both from those who are already on this journey and from those who have not yet got on board. It will take enormous and consistent effort to turn the tide on social mobility, and the UK Social Mobility Awards will continue to be there to advocate for, and champion, this noble movement.”

Winners - Organisations

Organisation of The Year
Winners: Ministry of Justice
Highly Commended: KPMG

Innovation of the Year – sponsored by Milkround
Winner: Kier Group

Leadership of The Year – sponsored by Police Now
Winner: DWP

Recruitment Programme of The Year – sponsored by Hedley May
Winner: Greene King

Progression Programme of The Year
Winner: HMRC

Community Programme of The Year – sponsored by PwC
Winner: Nissan
Highly Commended: HMRC

University of the Year – sponsored by Pentland Brands
Winner: Nottingham Trent University

School/College of the Year – sponsored by BNP Paribas
Winner: Southmoor Academy

Winners - Individuals

Outstanding Contribution to Social Mobility
Winner: Justine Greening MP

Champion of The Year – sponsored by Lidl
Winner: Professor Pamela Gillies, Glasgow Caledonian University

Mentor of The Year
Winner: Franklin Asante, Coutts 

Rising Star – sponsored by Foxtons
Winner: Milambo Makani, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Widening Access Network