Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg said companies know they need to find the best talent in order to succeedGetty

The Deputy Prime Minister revealed that 12 of the UK's most high-profile companies have been recognised by the UK government for "leading the charge" in ensuring young people have a better chance of getting on the jobs ladder.

The employers, which are made up of a broad range of industries and cover the breadth of the UK, have been nominated as Social Mobility Business Compact "Champions"

These companies, including Accenture, Aspire Group, Baker & McKenzie, The Co-operative Food, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton UK and Linklaters, have "driven a new benchmark" for social mobility.

"I believe that in a fair society, what counts towards your success should be the talent you have and how hard you work, not who your parents are or where you come from," Nick Clegg said.

"I'm delighted that the Champions we have recognised today appreciate the economic value of recruiting people from all walks of life.

"Businesses know they need to find the best talent in order to succeed. This means searching beyond the usual recruitment methods and hiring young people with great potential, whatever their background. It's great to see leaders in industry backing this approach."

The businesses were recognised after, among other things, developing relationships with schools and young people, widening the geographical spread of opportunities and targeting efforts on institutions with above average levels of disadvantage.

The employers are signatories of the Social Mobility Business Compact, which was established by Clegg in 2011.

The commitment is designed to encourage employers to offer young people "fair and open access" to employment opportunities.