Organisations from across the public and private sectors, together responsible for employing 1.8 million people in the UK, are to sign up to the pledge to operate recruitment on a ‘name blind’ basis to address discrimination, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced.

The statement follows the Prime Minister’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference, where he cited research showing that people with white-sounding names are nearly twice as likely to get job call-backs than people with ethnic-sounding names.

The Civil Service has made a commitment to introduce name-blind recruitment for all roles below Senior Civil Service (SCS) level.

“It’s vital that the Civil Service takes a lead on this, and I’m confident that this important step will help us build an organisation that is even more talented, diverse and effective than it is today,” commented John Manzoni, chief executive officer of the Civil Service.

Other top graduate recruiters like KPMG, HSBC, Deloitte, Virgin Money, BBC, NHS, learndirect and local government will join organisations like Teach First by committing to deliver name-blind applications for all graduate and apprenticeship level roles.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) will take an active role to promote the benefits of name-blind recruitment and will work towards embedding this as standard through its training and development courses. This means the approach is likely to spread more widely throughout the private sector.