Here’s Why Your Prospects Are Worse Than Your Parents

By : Alex Mays |


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I’m afraid we have some bad news for you millennials out there.

The prospects for our generation are worse than our parents and grandparents – despite being better educated, one of Britain’s leading sociologists has said.

They go on to claim that the increased inequality in the UK is meaning young people from less well-off families have far less favourable prospects then generations before us, despite having much better qualifications.

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Dr John Goldthorpe – a sociologist at the University of Oxford – believes that almost 50 years of educational reforms and most of us taking university degrees has not improved social mobility and for young people in Britain today, it has worsened.

A recent survey backs this claim, as 54 per cent of the UK believed young people’s live would be worse than theirs, that’s the highest proportion ever recorded.

Dr Goldthorpe believes this is mainly down to more advantaged families using their economic, cultural and social advantages to ensure that their children remain at the top of the social class ladder.

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The Observer reports that Dr Goldthorpe writes this in his upcoming lecture:

Successive governments, committed to increasing mobility, have regarded educational policy as the essential means to this end. Yet despite all this expansion and reform, inequalities in relative mobility chances have remained little altered. A situation is emerging that is quite new in modern British history. Young people entering the labour market today face far less favourable mobility prospects than did their parents – or their grandparents.

It’s a pretty grim assessment of our lives in 2016, but I guess rising tuition fees and the ridiculous rise in house prices hasn’t helped our cause either.

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To change our fortunes, Dr Goldthorpe believes the Government needs to be doing a whole lot more for us then just focusing on educational policy.

He adds:

What can be achieved through educational policy alone is limited – far more so than politicians find it convenient to suppose. To look to the educational system itself to provide a solution to the problem of inequality of opportunity is to impose an undue burden on it. Rather, a whole range of economic and social policies is needed.

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The government’s social mobility adviser, Alan Milburn, also warned in The Guardian that there was a risk that Britain would become ‘permanently divided’ as a result of growing inequality.

He said

This idea that the succeeding generation would do better than the previous generation is part of the glue that binds. I was brought up to believe that, if you stuck in at school, you’d get on in life. Unfortunately there’s pretty compelling data to suggest that may no longer be the case.

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This is a pretty damning verdict on what it’s like to be a young person in this day and age.


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