This is an essential read if you are keen to use your early career programmes to help address social mobility issues in the UK.
Covid-19 and the predicted economic downturn to come is going to split the country wider in terms of 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'. Already "in excess of one million people have newly applied for universal credit".
This article describes how, from every angle, the gap between poorer people and their privileged neighbours is widening. From education through a "surge in online tutoring" for those who can afford it to economics where those "who are able to work from home (on average richer individuals) are significantly less likely to be furloughed or lose their jobs".
The authors call for governmental assistance in, for example, a national tutoring service and help level the playing field. Did you know that "poorer children lag behind when they return to school after the summer"? I haven't heard yet of an organisation who pairs it's graduates, apprentices, or staff with students to make up this summer lag. Seams feasible to do, surely. Especially as "one-to-one tuition is one of the most reliable ways we know of helping learners catch up... it can lead to an extra five months learning gain for pupils during one academic year."
In closing comments there is hope.... the "Great Depression in the 1930s and the aftermath of World War Two showed that hard times can prompt moves to fairer and more collective societies". There is hope that this awful, deadly pandemic could lead to change that could stave off the decline in social mobility that will happen here and in every county, town, and neighbourhood.
The long term reverberations of the crisis will likely exacerbate the divide in life chances between the poor and privileged. Covid-19 has the scope to increase the toxic mix of rising economic and education inequality that hinders social mobility. Unless we tackle these inequalities, we face a dark age of declining opportunity.