Content 1100 styling change to allow custom header

Our communities

Social mobility in the community

We harness the power of education to drive opportunity for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, in the places that need it most.

Opening Doors to Opportunities

We’ve made a commitment to give one million young people the opportunity to develop their skills by 2030, building on our longstanding efforts to improve social mobility within our local communities.

Our approach aims to give young people, no matter what their background or circumstances, the skills, insight and support they need to thrive in the world of work – by opening doors to opportunities.

We focus our efforts on helping young people to build foundational literacy and numeracy skills, essential soft skills and future skills, as well as giving them insight into the world of work to ensure they’re well equipped for whatever path they’d like to take.

Aligned to the UN Sustainable Development goals ensuring quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all, our work also supports our wider KPMG global ambition to economically empower 10 million young people by 2030.

It’s more important than ever for us to invest in the next generation and make sure we’re giving them the skills, confidence, and insight they need to thrive in the world of work. We know that when young people have meaningful encounters with employers, they are more likely to go on to have rewarding careers and it’s imperative we play our part in that.

Rachel Hopcroft / Partner and Head of Corporate Affairs, KPMG in the UK

Our focus areas

In support of our 2030 commitment, we’re inviting schools into our offices across the UK to complete two-hour ‘world of work visits’. We know that when young people have meaningful encounters with workplaces, they are more likely to progress into fulfilling careers that they might not have felt were within their reach.

Supported by our people, students will gain insight into our business and take on some of the challenges facing our clients today, helping them develop their essential skills. The programme features the best of what KPMG has to offer, from technology to green skills – offering young people a window into the changing world of work.

We’ll also be working closely with young people to shape what these visits looks like and capturing how they feel about their future careers.

Low social mobility remains a significant challenge in the UK and our young people are paying the price. Businesses, including our own, need to play an active role to change this. If we want to nurture the talent of tomorrow, we need to open our doors and offer the opportunity to come and see inside our firm to learn what
work is like.

Jon Holt / Chief Executive and Senior Partner, KPMG in the UK

Providing young people with meaningful encounters with employers is at the heart of modern 21st century careers education. They are particularly important for young people who face the most barriers as they can lack social networks and employer connections.

Encounters like these are more than a window into the world of work, they help build essential skills through hands on experience, link learning to life beyond the school gates and help young people see how they can take their best next step.

Oli de Botton / Chief Executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company

Foundational skills like literacy and numeracy and early years language are fundamental to young peoples’ future success and ensuring there’s a diverse and empowered workforce of the future. Yet, in the UK, approximately half the adult population have the numeracy ability of a primary school child1 and over three-quarters of a million children do not have access to books.2


Together, KPMG and the National Literacy Trust (NLT) founded the award-winning Vision for Literacy Business Pledge in 2015, to champion much needed change. In 2023, 97 businesses have now publicly committed to help close the nation’s literacy gap and boost social mobility.

We’ve also collaborated with NLT and the Marcus Rashford Book Club to give more children the gift of reading. In 2022 and 2023, 149,000 books were donated to communities with the lowest literacy levels. The books donated are themed around key topics, such as the environment, racial and gender equality and mental health, helping children and young people better understand the world around them.

My son came home from school so excited about receiving the book and has been reading it, telling family members about it and, honestly, we the parents were excited too. Thank you so much for thinking of this great idea and for all you do to make a difference in children.

Eden / Parent of child at a school participating in the Marcus Rashford Book Club.
Vision for Literacy Business Pledge signatories / 97 businesses 2023
Organisations supporting National Numeracy Day / 9,369 2023


According to the OECD global Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), secondary school pupils in the UK achieved the lowest scores in mathematics since 20063. Not only does this have real consequences for the individuals concerned – leaving them more vulnerable to debt, unemployment or fraud – but it severely hinders Britain’s productivity too. Poor numeracy is estimated to cost our economy up to a staggering £25 billion a year4, so this is as much a business issue as it is a societal one.

National Numeracy Day

Together with charity National Numeracy, KPMG founded National Numeracy Day in 2018, as the UK’s only day dedicated to building brighter futures through improved number confidence and competence, whether that’s managing household budgets, applying for a new job or helping children with homework.

In 2023, the campaign inspired 831,0501 actions to improve numeracy skills and has helped to surface the national debate about a culture of math’s anxiety that holds the nation back when it comes to productivity and social mobility.

The sixth National Numeracy Day took place on 17 May 2023. The campaign garnered support from 9,3691 individuals and organisations including leading consumer brands, schools and colleges, as well as government departments. KPMG offices and university partners in Leeds, Nottingham and Cambridge hosted a roadshow of in-person and virtual maths masterclasses for 4,0001 students in collaboration with the Royal Institution.

National Numeracy Day 2023Play video
National Numeracy Day 2022Play video
National Numeracy Leadership Council

Launched in September 2021 with the support of the then Chancellor of Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, the National Numeracy Leadership Council brings together leading businesses to accelerate action on poor numeracy. Bina Mehta, Chair, KPMG in the UK, is an inaugural member of the Council and together, members are building sustained and collective effort across business, government and every aspect of civil society to tackle this issue.


1) National Numeracy Day Impact Report 2023
2) One in seven state primary schools does not have a designated library space | National Literacy Trust
3) OECD (2023), PISA 2022 Results, The State of Learning and Equity in Education
4) New research: “Numeracy crisis” could be costing the UK up to £25 billion a year | National Numeracy

Essential skills such as teamwork, resilience, creativity, problem solving are key to young people developing the adaptability and resilience that’s needed to move into – and between – jobs.

KPMG has been proud to support Skills Builder since 2017 when the KPMG Foundation provided seed funding to the organisation. Skills Builder is an organisation that aims to support the development of essential skills people need to thrive in work and life. Their robust framework identifies 8 essential skills that are embedded across KPMG’s programmes to support young people to transition from education to the workplace.

In March 2023, KPMG and Skills Builder published the Essential Skills Tracker - a new piece of research which finds that lack of essential skills cost the UK economy £22 billion1 in 2022.

Driving greater social equality is the defining societal and economic challenge of our time, and essential skills such as communication, problem-solving and teamwork are key to levelling the playing field and unlocking opportunities. By empowering individuals, we can create better outcomes for our society as a whole. Costing our economy £22bn [in 2022 alone], and adding nearly £5,000 to one’s earning potential, the social and business imperative for tackling low essential skills is clear.

Bina Mehta / Chair, KPMG in the UK
Skill Builder
Skill Builder

Collaborating across our sector to improve social mobility: RISE

In December 2021, we came together with our peers in five of the big accountancy firms to found the RISE Initiative. Through this collaborative initiative, our volunteers support young people in social mobility coldspots to develop essential skills and better understand career pathways into our industry. To date, over 8,500 young people have taken part in workshops, and since its launch over 20 partner organisations2 have joined the collaboration.

1) Skills Builder Essential Skills Tracker 2023
2) Rise initiative

As a people business, we have a unique opportunity to ensure young people are equipped with the skills to succeed in the future job market - such as technology and sustainability - and to ensure that our society has the skilled workers to drive economic growth and future prosperity.


Aligned to the Future skills strand of our education strategy we want to ensure that young people develop the technology skills necessary to thrive in the future world of work, and ensure that they are taking steps to stay safe online.

We know that we need to encourage greater gender balance in Technology. KPMG’s IT’s Her Future Juniors Programme encourages girls to explore a career in technology. By engaging teachers and parents, it also helps educate the influencers about the opportunities for girls in technology, which helps to build a pipeline of diverse talent.

In 2023 we also supported the Cyber First programme in the North West, an initiative which begins with girls in Year 8 (aged 12/13) to encourage choices at GCSE that can lead to Technology related careers. The programme is particularly focussed on areas of low social mobility where the awareness of the opportunities that exist is often the lowest. The programme has engaged 2,159 students since May 2022, and is making a vital contribution to addressing the UK’s skills shortage and increasing representation in the technology sector.

Through KPMG’s participation in Global Cyber Day, UK colleagues also delivered workshops to young people in October 2022 through our Cyber Savvy campaign, designed to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to stay safe online.

Having worked in Cyber for over 20 years I can see how important it is to encourage the future generation, that's why I'm so proud of KPMG making a vital contribution to addressing the UK's skills shortage in the cyber and digital space.

Martin Tyley / Head of Cyber Risk Insights and Partner Sponsor of Cyber First, KPMG in the UK


The Net Zero economy is going to bring about an unprecedented demand for ‘green skills.’ Ensuring that the green jobs revolution is fair and inclusive is important to us as we expand our future skills programme. We’re working with schools in areas of low social mobility to build students’ ‘sustainability mindset’ and help prepare and excite them for the changing world of work.

We worked with the Economist Educational Foundation to support students to develop critical thinking, literacy and numeracy skills around key topics including climate change.

To mark COP28, schools across the UK joined our first Opening Doors to Opportunities broadcast special: COP28 – Sustainability and Numbers. Bringing together the themes of green skills and numeracy, the broadcast was hosted by MrMoneyJar, together with journalists at The Economist, and explored the importance of #COP28 and how numbers are used to talk about climate change.

Our flagship employability programme, WorkReady, has educated more than 22,500 students (FY13-23) about the changing world of work through developing their digital literacy and green skills. The programme has been developed in collaboration with The Talent Foundry, and is delivered exclusively in social mobility coldspots, Opportunity Areas and areas of high deprivation.

Collaborating to address areas most in need

Regional inequality plays a significant role in social mobility across the UK. The UK needs to be rebalanced, and long-term efforts to level up by supporting, empowering, and connecting people are key to driving sustainable change in communities. We know one organisation can’t do this alone; it’s a collective effort to tackle these challenges.

We take a place-based approach to target areas of greatest need. Working collaboratively with communities, stakeholders, our charity partners, businesses, and the government, we co-create tailored provisions which address local challenges, recognising that each area is unique.

Our outreach initiatives include career insights and skills development opportunities for young people through workplace visits, meaningful encounters with our colleagues and work experience programmes.

We are proud that 29% of the beneficiaries reached through volunteering attend schools in social mobility coldspots, Opportunity Areas and areas of high deprivation.

We work in collaboration with Business in the Community on their campaign in Rochdale, working alongside businesses, third-sector organisations and local stakeholders to develop a long-term roadmap to address local inequality.

We are leading business engagement as a Cornerstone Employer in Norwich, Fenland and East Cambridgeshire, Oldham and the Black Country – helping create meaningful encounters between young people and employers alongside fellow Cornerstones.

Each of our regional offices has identified local schools and social mobility charities that colleagues support through skilled volunteering and fundraising.

We have KPMG Partner representation on six Business in the Community Regional Leadership Boards, focused on responsible business action at a regional level through engagement on issues from climate change to education and skills.

Our university partnerships further strengthen our place-based approach to community engagement. The collaborations provide mutual benefit by enhancing our own award-winning community programme as well as supporting universities to deliver further social value across their regions too, with focused support for National Numeracy Day.

Our targeted support



Leading business collaboration to boost education and skills in Rochdale and the wider Greater Manchester area as a Cornerstone employer.


West Yorkshire

Supporting local educators to develop a deeper understanding of local jobs and ways to enrich the curriculum by hosting Teacher Encounter visits.



Pledging our support to The Cardiff Commitment, delivering experiences that enable young people in Cardiff to gain a greater understanding of the world of work and the future career opportunities that exist for them in their local community.


Black Country

Collaborating with local stakeholders, educators and employers to drive skills development and career outcomes for young people as a Cornerstone Employer.



Continuing our long-term commitment to supporting primary age literacy skills through ongoing school partnerships, book donations and colleague-led reading volunteering.

East London

East London

Driving improved educational outcomes tailored to specific school needs through our London school programme, supported by local community stakeholders.



Sharing insight to help inform career choices for young people.


The Fair Education Alliance brings together organisations from across education, the third sector and business who are leaders in improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged young people. We support these organisations to have more impact and to work together to drive deeper changes to make the system fairer which would be impossible to achieve working alone or in siloes.

KPMG is a particularly forward-thinking business on this agenda and an essential business member of the Fair Education Alliance. Their pioneering place based approach to change on education in Rochdale is testament to this and something we are proud to be working with them on.

There are many thousands of individuals and hundreds of organisations working to improve outcomes for children across the country and this is no different in Rochdale. However, the unique approach being taken here is one that brings together those people from across education, business and the third sector to understand issues, identify solutions and support them to work together to drive change."

Sam Butters / Chief Executive, Fair Education Alliance



Pledging our support to The Cardiff Commitment, delivering experiences that enable young people in Cardiff to gain a greater understanding of the world of work and the future career opportunities that exist for them in their local community.


We are thrilled to work with KPMG on our unique Numeracy in the News partnership which develops young people's maths, problem-solving, creativity, speaking and listening skills through inspiring discussions about current affairs. KPMG are experts in developing numeracy skills and together we are empowering young people to use numeracy to make sense of the world.

We are working together to reach disadvantaged young people all across the UK to help tackle social mobility. KPMG's approach to numeracy development is innovative because it allows young people to develop maths skills by exploring real-world issues. We're really proud of our partnership and excited to continue our great work together."

Emily Evans / Chief Executive, The Economist



Using the skills of our people to help support good governance in schools.


My private sector experience brings a different perspective and approach to my role as a School Governor, and I am able to show how the corporate world might approach a problem. It is great to see how committed everyone in the school is on moving forward and continuing to improve."

Debbie Reith / Director, KPMG Newcastle and Governor at Burnside College, North Tyneside



Collaborating with other professional services firms to deliver employability support in schools.





Supporting primary school pupils with essential literacy and numeracy through TutorMate and Maths Week Scotland





Helping schools embed essential skills in the curriculum.




East London

Developing green skills in primary schools to inspire positive climate action.





Providing books and reading support where literacy levels are low.





Convening businesses and improving careers support in Opportunity Areas.


Businesses working hand-in-glove with education at a community level is at the heart of our mission to help every young person find their best next step. The support of employers, like KPMG, means young people can be inspired and prepared for the future world of work – bringing industries and roles to life through introducing them to relatable role models, giving them opportunities to visit and experience the workplace and developing programmes and projects to develop and put 'work ready' skills into practice.

KPMG has been an exemplar to other businesses in their work supporting Opportunity Areas and Career Hubs such as Norwich – working closely with our local network leads, they have delivered activities to young people, supported schools and colleges at a strategic level through the Enterprise Adviser role and galvanised their business and political networks to build momentum behind our shared mission."

Aimee Higgins / Director of Business Partnerships, The Careers & Enterprise Company

Helping students in Rochdale reach their potential

As part of our community outreach in Rochdale, a need was identified for increased support from organisations to provide diverse world-of-work experiences for students. In partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) and GM Bridge (a network of businesses, education leaders and careers professionals to provide young people with a careers programme) we launched an ‘employability menu’ across Rochdale secondary schools. This menu incorporates a suite of employability sessions available to schools from employers across the region into one place to make it easier for teachers to choose the most relevant sessions for them.

This has been a valuable initiative with many schools having already engaged with the menu alongside an increased range of local and national employer opportunities available to pupils. In FY23, KPMG UK has reached over 1,200 young people with numeracy, literacy and employability skills interventions. One teacher commented: “The session was very relevant for the wider world. Students learned how to identify business problems and consider solutions. The students interacted well and it really made them think about their futures.”

The next phase of our work in Rochdale is to work in collaboration with employers and schools to understand how we can strengthen students understanding of career paths and experiences of work-places and ensure they have greater access to these opportunities.

Lord Steve Bassam, Place Director, BITC: “Taking a place-based approach is about bringing the widest types of people and organisations together, in a place, to act on long-term goals, agreed with the local community. Working in partnership with KPMG and a wide range of partners and organisations in Rochdale is helping identify where our collaboration can best support the local community and drive positive outcomes.”