Social Mobility Commission : State of the Nation Report

The following is a very brief summary of the press release issued by the Social Mobility Commission to accompany its State of the Nation 2018 to 2019 report.

The Social Mobility Commission is an advisory, non-departmental public body established under the Life Chances Act 2010, as modified by the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016. It has a duty to assess progress in improving social mobility in the UK and to promote social mobility in England.

The Social Mobility Commission’s State of the Nation 2018 to 2019 report highlights inequality in Britain and sets out key findings and recommendations.

The report states that inequality is now entrenched in Britain from birth to work and that the government needs to take urgent action to help close the privilege gap.

Looking at early childhood, schools, universities, further education and work reveals that social mobility has been stagnant for the last four years.

Extensive analysis of new Office for National Statistics data shows the wide gap in school attainment and income between the rich and poor has barely shifted. Being born privileged still means you usually remain privileged.

Dame Martina Milburn, chair of the commission said:
“Our research suggests that being able to move regions is a key factor in being able to access professional jobs. Clearly moving out is too often necessary to move up. At a time when our country needs to be highly productive and able to carve out a new role in a shifting political and economic landscape, we must find a way to maximise the talent of all our citizens, especially those that start the furthest behind.”

To help address this inequality, the commission calls on the government to:-

  • extend eligibility and uptake of the 30 hour childcare offer to those only working 8 hours a week, as a first step to make it available to more low-income families;
  • raise per pupil funding by a significant amount for those aged 16 to 19, and introduce a new pupil premium for disadvantaged students in that age group;
  • become an accredited voluntary living wage employer so that government departments pay the voluntary living wage to civil servants and all contracted workers including cleaning and catering staff.

Dame Martina said:
“It is vital that young people have more choice to shape their own lives. This means not only ensuring that they get better qualifications, but making sure that they have an informed choice to take up an apprenticeship rather than taking a degree, to find a job which is fulfilling and the choice to stay where they grew up rather than moving away.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *