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Impossible? A social mobility report

This report reveals that, through a mere accident of birth, poorer young people find doors closed and paths to the top blocked again and again and again. At every stage of their lives – from cradle to college to career – new hurdles to social mobility appear that simply don’t exist for those from more advantaged backgrounds, making it virtually impossible for them to break through the so-called ‘class ceiling’ and reach as high as their talents allow.

In the wake of Brexit, there is more need than ever before to ensure our country’s skills needs are met by home-grown talent. Ensuring every child gets a great education is not simply a matter of fairness, it is an economic imperative.

In the years ahead, the British economy is expected to experience a shortage of 3 million workers to fill 15 million highskilled jobs. By contrast, there are likely to be 5 million more people with ‘low skills’ than jobs they are equipped for.

We already know that only one in three young people from low-income backgrounds achieves basic school grades at 16, compared to two thirds of their wealthier peers. We believe this gap continues to be the biggest problem in our education system.

Yet, in this new analysis, we reveal how the GCSE gap is only the tip of the iceberg. By delving below the surface, we now truly understand how the
implications of growing up in a lowincome family reach far beyond exam results and university access.

We identify that the path to success is blocked by an increasingly insurmountable series of social mobility hurdles that children from low-income
communities are forced to clear. And, even when they do succeed at school against the odds, their chances of achieving their full potential continue to be limited, purely because of where they happen to have been born.

These barriers to social mobility are preventing us from achieving a country that works for everyone; where equal opportunities for all is a reality, not an
impossible dream. These are the hurdles= the Prime Minister must focus on clearing away if we are to achieve the vision she has set out for social mobility.