The annual barometer poll conducted by the government´s Social Mobility Commission surveyed 4,860 UK adults in March 2019. The results highlight some of the most important changes Britain faces today. The main findings outline that people believe that a geographic postcode lottery exists, and opportunities are more limited in certain areas of Britain than others.
Additionally, over half of respondents believe central government should be doing more to enhance social mobility. Although people feel more positively on some aspects of social mobility than previously captured, a largely negative view still pervades.
The findings highlight stark regional differences about perceptions of an individual’s life prospects. There is a growing trend of people feeling that there are large differences in opportunity across the country. 76% of people surveyed believed there is a large difference in this is 2019, which has been on an upward rise in the last couple of years, 73% in 2018 and 71% in 2017.
Only 31% of people living in the north-east think there are good opportunities to make progress in their own region, compared with 74% in the south-east and 78% of those living in London. These figures highlight the need to make greater efforts to improve social mobility in schools, further education, training and job security in many regions outside the south east.
In terms of education, childcare and work opportunities, most people continue to feel there are less opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds in comparison to their better-off peers. This includes going to a top university (77%), owning their own home (71%), access to quality childcare (68%), and leaving school with good qualifications (60%).
People believe that central government should be doing more to enhance social mobility. 38% of those surveyed believe local government should do more and 37% believe schools should do more. The majority of people think schools are best equipped to enhance social mobility (45%), followed by employers (34%) and central government (33%).
Dame Martina, Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, stated:
“This poll is a ‘call to action’ for this government to do more to help social mobility. Politicians at national and local level must listen to it. Regions which have been marginalised for decades should get the investment they need to provide opportunities for young people so they don’t have to move out to move up.”
The full government article can be found here.
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