A report by MPs claims thousands of young people face a “lost opportunity” because they can’t access top jobs unless their social backgrounds are taken into account.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report, called the Class Ceiling, mainly focusses on social mobility and contextual recruitment in which an employer factors in context of social backgrounds.
The report followed a 2016 inquiry revealing that the UK’s top jobs are still disproportionately populated by alumni of public schools and Russell group universities, including over half of Britain’s top journalists, high court judges and Oscar winning actors.
Banning unpaid internships and encouraging an increase in less London-centric recruitment are also being urged by the report, as the current situation is leading to many young people working below the national minimum wage, causing a barrier for those from poorer backgrounds.
“Our professions should reflect our communities and our country, and employers themselves would ultimately benefit from harnessing the broader experience and potential of the country as a whole,” Justin Madders MP (Labour), Andrea Jenkyns MP (Conservative) and Baroness Tyler (Liberal Democrat) wrote in a cross-party foreword to the report.
“Employers look for confidence, resilience, social skills and self-motivation in their employees, but for those who have had little to no exposure to extracurricular activities, work experience or mentoring, these skills can be difficult to acquire.”