Only Rich Britons Can Get Professional Jobs

(Reuters) – ONLY CHILDREN FROM THE RICHEST FAMILIES can enjoy careers in top professions, like law and medicine, because of increasingly impenetrable social barriers, a government-commissioned report said today.

The study, led by former Labour government minister Alan Milburn, said there was a ‘closed shop mentality’ in many professions which excluded young people from low and middle income backgrounds.

‘Frankly there are too many kids out there from average income families who are bright… and who want to go on to get a top professional carer; but haven’t got the right connections, haven’t necessarily gone to the right school, maybe haven’t had the chance to go to university, and that has all got to change,’ Milburn told BBC radio.

The Fair Access to the Professions report said ‘birth not worth’ had become a greater factor in deciding someone’s chances in life and that professions had become increasingly socially exclusive, open to fewer people.

It found 75% of judges, 70% of finance directors and 45% of all top civil servants had been to independent schools, although just 7% of the population were independently educated.

Those who get professional jobs grow up in a family richer than seven in 10 of all British families, the report said.

But Milburn said a large expansion in such jobs in the near future — with up to seven million new professionals needed by 2020 — provided an opportunity for a second wave of social mobility, similar to the situation after World War Two.

The report made some 80 recommendations, including opening internships to a wider pool of people, improving careers advice and making extra-curricular school activities and university degrees more widely available.

There also needed to be a campaign to raise aspirations and, although it rejected a return to academic selection of pupils, the report called for parents to be given the right to choose better schools for their children.

Milburn said efforts by Labour to improve the performance of schools since the party had been in power for the last decade had helped; but more needed to be done.

‘We’ve managed to raise the glass ceiling but in all truth we haven’t broken through it,’ Milburn said.

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  1. […] (21/07/2009) – Only Rich Britons Can Get Professional Jobs Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Australian-style student loan system heralds a […]

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