Lord Holmes

I grew up in working class Kidderminster and am now in the House of Lords.  I haven’t the first idea how this came to pass but I guess social mobility must be in it somewhere.

It was that and more which made me delighted to be part of the select committee on social mobility, our report is published today.

Our report focusses not on those on the A-level University pathway, nor on the NEETs, both groups pretty well served, from policy, think tanks and successive Governments at least.  No, our focus was the large group in between, those who we found suffering incoherent options, chaos and confusion.  Those who we concluded were experiencing a terrible muddle in the middle.

We wanted to be sure that our recommendations wouldn’t add to the policy fragmentation which has hindered progress and clarity. Instead we recommend a cohesive system: a core curriculum for those aged 14 –19, with tailor made academic or vocational elements, a gold standard in careers advice, and careers education in schools that empowers young people to make good decisions about their future.

This system needs to be underpinned by reliable and publicly available data. It needs to be properly funded, owned by a single Minister, and monitored for success. Only by taking these actions can we make sure that all of our young people have the best chances of success.

We also need to see an end to the inequality between university and other routes, inequality in terms of funding, inequality in terms of thinking.

What is perhaps most pressing though for policy makers and frankly, for us all is the revolution currently underway which will leave our labour market changed beyond recognition, most pertinent here, so many of those jobs which were the enablers of social mobility from the sixties onwards, those jobs, swept away on a tide of turmoil and tech.

In the UK 35% of jobs are in danger of automation, by the same token, over one million new jobs required in the digital sector by the end of this decade alone.  What these new opportunities will require is far more focus on skills rather than subjects and resilience rather than rote learn.

What we need is focus, on the individual. What services and support, can be wrapped around them, not least careers education and guidance, character education, communication skills, team working, self-management and self belief to name just some.

As communities, as a country, we can no longer continue to tolerate this lack of focus on such a large group of our young people, this waste, this wanting.  We need to smash the silos; between Government departments, between different routes, silos of thinking, silos that stifle, silos that stunt.  The silos must be smashed, individual’s purpose must be pushed to the fore and then, then we can unleash the talent.

5 comments for “NOBILITY ON MOBILITY

  1. MilesJSD
    08/04/2016 at 11:25 am

    I’m a retired Brit, but continuing forward-looking support with and ,
    which are not-for-profit-nor-power voluntary and, as-it-were “Sustainworthy Earth & Its Supporting-Citizenship promoting” e-sites;

    within which you will find

    {to be brief here because there are so many other matters about “Unfitness-For-Purpose” in the Britain that we are responsible for, needing both Public and Authoritive [not ‘authoritarian’] serious, and very seriously adequate and urgent , Scrutiny-timeframings }

    that “social-mobility” is barefacedly a hijacking of our common-lifeplace needs and rights,
    namely our needs and rights to be wholly social,
    outside of the Workplace[*] and its “career-ladder-climbing-cloaks and daggers win-lose competion-ing’ “;

    and to be increasingly ‘no-lose’ cooperative in our 128 hours per week Lifeplace, [where we need the very opposite from Prime Minister Thatcher’s “We don’t need society, and social things, any more… (“) now that we have fully-enfranchised People who can deal direct with the best possible Government namely the longest-established and succeeding Conservatives of both the Land and the People…(“) …]

    to many of us that last “knot” alone, with its more than one bad-loopholes, needs some extensive scrutiny, too.

    So, along with legitimised “Friendly-Fire shooting-your-own-troops-in-the-back”,
    and legitimately “Cleansing…” millions of innocently-hard-working and sustainworthily frugal-living citizens by exiling and genociding them […]

    “Social Mobility” as a definitive-title is “evil” too, and needs to be replaced “quick-sharp” by fully appropriate and positive words.
    *[the Workplace demands only 40 hours per week; and incidentally is NOT “social” but “very-disciplinedly “professional”; does not require you to spend your money, but requires you to have the skills they (not you) have chosen;
    AND to spend you n-number-of-human-paypackets, once you leave work every day, in the “Ex-Socially-Mobile Lifeplace” -{ which in turn turns out to be owned and dictated by –
    guess who ?
    Yes ? the Workplace-“Cartel” you just thought you has left for the rest of the 24 hour day ?]

  2. tizres
    11/04/2016 at 9:01 pm

    “What we need is focus, on the individual.”

    Absolutely, just as long as the individual is not necessarily aged between 14-19 years-old. I’m still learning from the wonderful contributors to this blog.

    • MilesJSD
      13/04/2016 at 9:45 pm

      Great !
      Worthy to invite you to be “laddered” a bit (give some more detail about that, can you ?)
      on that succinct, almost between-the-lines move, to ensure “equal” and “egalitarian” “focus”
      i.e. on potentially some 63 million of “this corner of the World’s People”) at least ?

      I am 88, 3 years younger and differently disabled from my caree
      91 y.o. ex-working-class, great-grandmother [they’re Polish-Australians] ;
      and we “frailer-oldies” are expected to become more and more socially-immobile !

      Perhaps you could have a quick peep at not-for-profit and
      which we have been voluntarily not-for-profit-nor power running for some years, only to have to make an inderminate “retreat” from them just now.

      I too hope I don’t yet have to “retreat” from this,
      the only visible ‘more-two-way, demcratic-reach-out’ e-site,
      of a goodly few of the House of Lords & Baronesses more ‘sociable’ members.

  3. maude elwes
    15/04/2016 at 8:28 am

    The young people you mention no longer have access to social mobility of any kind, educated or otherwise.

    First of all, the basic education in this country has deteriorated to a level the equivalent of parts of the third world. To the point where many immigrant families are sending their kids back to their country of origin to be taught because of their extreme frustration. Poles, for example, are astonished at how badly schools perform in this country as do many others. Beware if you cannot afford to educate privately, or afford a tutor, and have to succumb to state education. Albeit pretending the name of ‘Academy’ will make all the difference. What hoot that is. Half the kids in one of those have so little vocabulary it is impossible for them to absorb the gist of what they are given to read.

    We know that one or two MP’s use the state system, where the school they select and strangely find places in, even though they are not in the proper catchment area, are the best on offer. Mostly Church schools and Catholic to boot. But, they still find they have to employ additional tutors regardless of the privilege. Note how Miliband would never fess up to having one as he attended a comprehensive unable to teach him what he needed to know.

    Add to that the cost of university places. No longer free for us to enjoy, and unless you can fake dire need and get a freebie through a bursary or the like, a kid from a poverty background can forget it. The golden age of the grammar school being cut off at the knees by those from the classes who used them to enable their own ‘social mobility.’ This being a betrayal of the lowest kind.

    Then there are those who manage to get a degree and work for years to pay off the loan. Only to find the salary they achieve is so low, in this society of ‘no inflation,’ they cannot afford a home. They rent in a share a flat rip off for years, with no hope of ever owning their own, as prices have reached levels unattainable even at £50K pa. A one bedroom being as much as £450K even in areas once considered slums.

    And the reason, in great part, is mass immigration from outside of Europe, far more than from inside of it. And still the great and the good call for more of it in order to impoverish European people and their ‘tolerant values.’ Whilst they continue to turn a blind eye to the cost of a society that that were stupid enough to let them lead them into this abyss.

    Time to look at reality before continuing to dupe those who pay the bills for all of you to live high on the hog.

  4. 19/04/2016 at 3:45 am

    I was really confused, and this answered all my quoissent.

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