A majority of UK workers believe disadvantaged young people find it harder to progress in the workplace today than their contemporaries did two generations ago, according to research commissioned by the former education secretary Justine Greening. The study, undertaken by the Social Mobility Pledge initiative founded by Greening, suggests the majority of UK workers believe…
A majority of UK workers believe disadvantaged young people find it harder to progress in the workplace today than their contemporaries did two generations ago, according to research commissioned by the former education secretaryJustine Greening.
The study, undertaken by theSocial MobilityPledgeinitiative founded by Greening, suggests the majority of UK workers believe young people can face a “class ceiling” in attempting to secure jobs and promotions.
The research says 60% of workers aged 35 to 64 believe economically disadvantaged people in the generation below them have a harder time progressing in their careers than those from the generation above.
Greening said it indicated that workplaces for the baby boomer generation may have been more accommodating of class differences than millennials in the workplace today.
The poll of 2,000 people also found the majority of workers aged 18 to 64 found progressing as a disadvantaged young person was either “difficult” or “very difficult”, rising from 54% nationally to 62% in London.
Greening, who was born in Rotherham and has described experiencing unemployment in her family as a youngster, said the findings suggested class diversity at work may be regressing from generation to generation. “This is hugely concerning, given that the UK already has such a poor record in terms of social mobility,” she said.
“Enabling people to get on in life regardless of their background drives prosperity in local communities, businesses and the national economy. This really is a defining issue facing the UK currently and employers in all sectors have a central role to play in solving it.”
Greening set up the Social Mobility Pledge afterresigningfrom Theresa May’s cabinet last year following a bid to move her from the education brief to the Department for Work and Pensions.
The MP, who has a slim majority in her Putney seat in south-west London, has indicated she may be keen to run as a candidate in a Tory leadership election from the party’s progressive wing, which is also likely to include the current work and pensions secretary, Amber Rudd.
Greening,a supporterof a second EU referendum, has been outspoken previously about the limited offer that Tories have for young, working-class voters. She has suggested she had intended to scrap tuition fees in favour of a graduate contribution scheme, because of concerns tuition fees of £9,250 per year could start to put off poorer students.
The pledge encourages employers to set up links with local schools and colleges, offer apprenticeships and adopt open recruitment policies such asname-blindor “contextual” recruitment. John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and ITV are among the organisations that have signed up.