Problem of Absence Social Mobility in the United Kingdom

The analysis, of where an individual ends up in life, primarily depends on their background because there are no fair chances to get on. According to the Financial Times, undoubtedly, there is a wide gap between the social classes in the UK, especially when comparing the rich people's lives and the poor in the community. Middle-class people have an advantage because their background propels them to receive a quality education and accessibility to other vital resources on career choice and progression compared to the working-class category. In a report with the Guardian group, the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, indicated several social class dynamics disparities within the UK. For the past nine or so years, these class indifferences have presented devastating effects on the country. In her statement, Angela suggests a need to introduce actual change by implementing meaningful policies. The ministers in the position must focus on securing social justice for the entire population, and not just a leg-up for a few individuals. The findings from the Social Mobility Barometer were retrieved from a poll conducted by YouGov in March 2019, where 5,000 people from the UK participated.

Inequality as an issue is so apparent in Britain and is currently entrenched from birth to work. According to the government's report on the Social Mobility Commission charting different societal dynamics, failures in both employment and education have generated class indifferences and privileges that have grown more entrenched. Being born from a wealthy family implies one is likely to stay privileged entirely. The vice versa is true because being born disadvantaged implies one may face numerous barriers to save their generation from the same trap. The first state of the UK nation report following 12 new commissioners' appointments in the past one year indicates social mobility within the UK has remained stagnant in the past four years, virtually affecting all life stages of the population. Also, reports indicate that direct entry into the professional space and occupations primarily rely on parents' careers and success levels. Children born of wealthy backgrounds stand more chances to undertake professional occupations such as medicine and law than the less privileged peer groups. These trends are attributed to their parents' more substantial qualifications and robust educational qualifications, meaning more knowledge on career life decisions.

The social mobility index remains a critical issue affecting the UK. Even when the working-class category finally enters the professional occupations, they still earn a lower income than the more privileged colleagues. The commission highlights that the critical source of double disadvantages' is attributed to factors of differences in class, gender, disability, and ethnicity. For instance, women from working-class backgrounds are compensated 35% less than their affluent male colleagues within similar professional occupations and job descriptions in most workplaces. The study also indicates that only one in five persons with disabilities from the working-class category stood a chance in the highest occupation. Changes in technological dynamics further threaten to deepen these disparities. Social mobility can only improve by lessening the existing gap between the rich and poor groups within a community.

Following the growing automation and changes across the globe, the already existing divides are likely to worsen. Workers in low pay category with lower career qualifications are at more danger of facing work automation. At the same time, they suffer a risk of accessing training opportunities to sharpen their skills. However, most UK institutions have failed to adequately provide adult education as a strategy of redressing the issue of qualifications imbalance, and this trend has been on the decline since 2010. The United Kingdom government should join hands with other support institutions to bring changes in the most disadvantaged group's lives and continue raising the bar for other states.

The UK lacks an expansion of free childcare initiative that extends further to the disadvantaged families as hundreds of children's centres have been shut down, with childcare workers surviving on tax and benefit credits. The government lacks adequate funding to facilitate the struggling students in schools to accommodate the 16-19-year old and allow them to attend higher education. The current student premium used in England schools does not adequately meet the group's educational needs. The fund does not also focus on increasing attainment, especially for disadvantaged students. Education funding, particularly for the group, has reduced by around 12% since 2012, and it is 8% lower than for the secondary schools category. Unfortunately, the trend has led to unprecedented cuts in student support and teaching that harm the disadvantaged students in turn. The government has not committed to a voluntary living wage to both contracted workers and employees and catering and cleaners staff. Therefore, such inequalities make it impossible to strike a social balance across all dynamics due to the increasing gap between the rich and the poor.

The UK has entrenched shocking levels of class or social inequality. The state's commission has echoed the Labour Department's developing concerns on the devastating effect following the closing of children's centres and limited school funding. The UK lacks adequate policies to support the expansion and execution of free childcare initiatives and funds for further education. Therefore, the UK's social mobility is quite disturbing because, for a long time, more individuals have been trapped on low incomes, a trend that implies that most of them cannot afford a better life. The government has delayed prioritizing and investing in better-paid job opportunities and skills in places where individuals are entirely locked out of opportunities. It has also been challenging to strike at the heart of the problem and establish a more inclusive economy that meets all populations' needs.

Meanwhile, the British government should increase the inheritance tax and seal the tax loopholes to restrict the super-wealthy individuals from entrenching their privilege. However, adopting such initiatives requires substantial political muscle. In Britain, the case remains that your background networks, which one was born to, and birth location determine where one is headed to. The rich remain wealthy, while the less privileged die in pits of poverty, which should not be the case for any country aspiring to stay economically healthy. The UK requires a new social mobility model to develop talents and create opportunities for the entire country and not just London alone. Employers need to perceive workers as a long-term investment and offer adequate training sessions and skill development to boost their work productivity. Social class inequalities favour a certain group at the expense of the other, which in turn affects their socioeconomic status.

In conclusion, it is apparent that social mobility no longer exists in the United Kingdom (modern Britain). There are potent and plentiful inhibitors of social mobility within the region as the level of background, or parental privilege regulates how far their generations can go while blocking others' opportunities. However, policymakers desperately cling to the idea that investing much more in education can be a greater leveller to allow even the poor backgrounds to overcome certain social class circumstances. However, most institutions have failed to live up to such expectations making it difficult for the government to eradicate inequality across classes. The issue of low mobility has diversely affected modern Britain's ability to thrive across economic, social, and political dynamics because it causes high regional divides and populist politics. Most elites have regionally detached from the rest of society, hence widening the primary economic thriving gap and stability. The goal should be to improve its primary social mobility dynamics through increasing opportunities to thrive while closing any economic differences among the populations in the northern, eastern, and western parts of the country.   

07 July 2022
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