12 January 2012
Nationwide has today been congratulated by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, as one of the leading companies opening its doors to young people from all walks of life.
The Society is one of a number of Britain’s biggest companies to have signed up to the Business Compact, a key part of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Social Mobility Strategy, launched in April 2011. The scheme sets out the Government’s commitment to ensure every individual is free to achieve, regardless of the circumstances of their birth.
In signing up to the Business Compact, Nationwide has agreed to:
- support communities and schools through reading and mentoring or encourage employees to go out to schools and inspire pupils about their careers
- open opportunities to all young people by advertising its work experience places through schools, online and in other public forums
- make access to internships open and transparent, paying interns the National Minimum Wage where they are legally entitled to it and providing financial support to ensure fair access, such as providing expenses and/or accommodation to those from less advantaged backgrounds to ensure they are not prevented from accessing opportunities by their financial circumstances
- recruit fairly and without discrimination, ensuring that its recruitment processes don’t allow candidates to be inadvertently screened out because they went to the wrong school or come from a different ethnic group
Graeme Hughes, Director of HR & Corporate Affairs at Nationwide, said: “As a mutual organisation we recognise the importance of supporting the communities from which we’ve grown. Signing up to the Business Compact is another example of Nationwide’s commitment to young people and employability. The Business Compact underpins our existing policies and is a natural extension of Nationwide’s approach to being an equal opportunities employer.
”We are pleased to be able to demonstrate the positive impact of ensuring access to opportunities for all and encourage other businesses to show their support by signing up.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said: “This is an important step towards a society where it’s what you know, not who you know, that counts. Working with the Coalition, the biggest hitters in Britain’s business world are helping lead the way to a fairer, more open society.
“By opening their doors to young people from all walks of life, this marks the start of a culture shift at the heart of British business, driven by the belief that ability and drive should trump connections and privilege.
“I’d like to thank Nationwide for signing up to the Business Compact. Today’s success makes me even more ambitious. This great news is just the beginning – I will be doing everything I can to bring even more businesses on board.”
Nationwide’s HR & Corporate Affairs Director will attend a launch event tonight held by The Deputy Prime Minister who will thank all of the businesses who have signed up to the Business Compact.
Notes to editors:
For further details about the Deputy Prime Minister’s work on the Business Compact please visit
About Nationwide Building Society Nationwide Building Society is the world’s largest building society, the UK’s second largest savings provider and third largest mortgage lender. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards and personal loans.
With around 16 million members, Nationwide has a relationship with almost a quarter of the UK population. In the first half of 2010/2011 alone we helped 10,000 people buy their first home.
Since the credit crunch began in 2007, Nationwide has remained profitable against a very difficult economic environment. In the year 2010/11 Nationwide made a strong underlying profit of £276 million – up 30% from the previous year.
Our strong financial performance and prudent business model meant that Nationwide was included in Global Finance magazine’s Top 50 Safest Banks in the World, one of only three UK institutions in the Top 50.