It is 'vital' that firms do more to improve social mobility through their recruitment practices, says chairman

The career and pay gap between private and state-school educated graduates is growing and employers need to do more to tackle this when recruiting, says a new report.

New research published by the Sutton Trust and upReach shows how graduates from private-schools in top jobs receive an average of £4,450 more than their state school counterparts after three years – and their salaries are rising more quickly.

The findings outline how six months after graduation, the average annual salary difference between a state-educated and a privately-educated employee in a high-status job is £1,300.

Private grads take home £24,066 while state grads leave with £22,735-per-year.

By the time they’ve been working for three years, this financial gap has grown to £4,450, with private-school alumni earning 14 per cent more than their less privileged peers – £36,036, compared with £31,586.

Both organisations have acknowledged the inequality in graduate pay between private and state-school alumni needs to be addressed if employers want to hire the best talent, regardless of social background.

The Sutton Trust and upReach say graduates from less privileged backgrounds who apply for high-status jobs should be identified early on in the application process and during employment.

This should allow graduate employers to support the best talent and further support should include mentoring opportunities, career coaching, and application guidance.

Chairman of the Sutton Trust, Sir Peter Lampl, described how it is “vital” for firms to do more to improve social mobility through their recruitment practices and said: “Enabling greater access to a wider pool of diverse talent will deliver real benefits for employers and employees alike.”

The founder of upReach, Henry Morris, highlighted how Britain’s social mobility challenge does not end on a graduate’s first day of work.

He added: “By working in partnership with organisations like upReach, employers can seize the social mobility opportunity for their own and society’s benefit.”

The findings have come shortly after global accountancy firm and one of Britain’s biggest graduate recruiters, Ernst and Young, announced it will no longer consider academic and education details from applicants in order to improve workplace diversity.