There is an increasing body of evidence linking social mobility – the ability to improve one’s standard of living, through better education, employment and income – to employability skills such as confidence, self-esteem and resilience. People who overcome adversity and realise their potential tend to exhibit these key skills; thereby enabling them to develop the ability to believe in themselves, pursue their goals along the way.
Social Mobility 2017
By The Sutton Trust
The UK (along with the US) is one of the lowest performing countries for income mobility across the OECD. The UK ranks better in educational mobility, but this does not appear to translate into earnings.
An estimated 15 million UK jobs could be at risk of automation, with 63% of all jobs impacted to a medium or large extent. Additionally, we may see less stable full-time employment, greater demand for technical skills, and an increased value of essential life skills (such as confidence, motivation and communication). This will advantage those from higher socioeconomic backgrounds, who typically have greater opportunities to develop these skills.
Social mobility is positively related to productivity internationally. A modest increase in the UK’s social mobility (to the average level across western Europe) could be associated with an increase in annual GDP of approximately 2%, equivalent to £590 per person or £39bn to the UK economy as a whole (in 2016 prices).
Closing the Gap? Trends in Educational Attainment and Disadvantage
By Education Policy Institute
Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to continue into post-compulsory education; they have lower average earnings, poorer health and greater propensity to become involved with crime than their more affluent peers
The most disadvantaged pupils in England have fallen further behind their peers and are now on average over 2 full years of learning behind non-disadvantaged pupils by the end of secondary.
In 2016, disadvantaged pupils were on average 19.3 months behind their peers by the time they took their GCSEs – meaning they are falling behind by around 2 months each year over the course of secondary school
In the most deprived quintile of areas, 11% of secondary schools were rated as inadequate by Ofsted in 2015, almost twice as many as the 6% in the median quintile. In the least deprived quintile, only 1% were given this rating
Children receiving free school meals are less likely to get 5 good GCSEs than others
State of the nation 2016: social mobility in Great Britain
By Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission
Only 1 in 8 children from low-income backgrounds is likely to become a high-income earner as an adult
Over the last 5 years 1.2 million 16-year-olds – disproportionately from low-income homes – have left school without 5 good GCSEs.
Just 5% of children eligible for free school meals gain 5 A grades at GCSE
Young people from low-income homes with similar GCSEs to their better-off classmates are one third more likely to drop out of education at 16 and 30% less likely to study A-levels that could get them into a top university