To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, with reference to the report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, Downward mobility, opportunity hoarding and the glass floor, published in June 2015, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of that report's findings that children from better-off families are hoarding opportunities in the education system in the labour market.
19 October 2015
This report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission raised some important issues around social mobility in the UK. As you will be aware the Government is concerned with this issue and plan to tackle this problem, as highlighted by the Prime Ministers’ Conference speech earlier this month.
I would like to highlight however, that this report was largely focused on a cohort of British children born in 1970. So while it is important in illustrating that social mobility in the UK has been poor for a long period of time it bears no reflection on the Government’s current policies.
Concerning current policies and their implications on social mobility it is clear that the achievement of over 2 million apprenticeships in the last parliament and the target of 3 million in this is helping to increase social mobility by providing young people with the skills they need in order to acquire professional careers. This policy alongside an increase in participation in higher education, helped by policies such as the removal of the student cap, has helped start to bridge the skills and educational gaps which were previously detrimental to social mobility.