We believe its wrong that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds face more barriers than those coming from more advantaged backgrounds.

Research shows this inequality disrupts the path to employment, further education and social mobility in so many ways.

Salary gap

Better-off peers secure higher salaried jobs, it’s a fact.

Students from poorer backgrounds earn considerably less than their peers from richer backgrounds. Independent school students earn around 45% (£10,000) more on average, five years after graduation than state-school students from poorer backgrounds1.

No careers advice in school

If you’re from a less advantaged background you are less likely to attend a school with a well funded careers’ programme, which means fewer chances for inspiration and aspiration.

Careers guidance in schools has seen substantial cuts in the last decade: following the Education Act 2011, where the responsibility for organising careers guidance was transferred to individual schools, support was reduced in 8 out of 10 of secondary schools2.

Schools are underfunded to deliver careers progression…75% have insufficient, limited or no funding for careers3.

Lower ambition & attainment

It’s a sad reality that disadvantaged young people are around 50% more likely to be not in education, employment or training (NEET) than their better-off peers4.

There are many factors holding them back but a lack of clear goals, drive and aspiration can play a significant part.

Young people who are uncertain or unrealistic about career ambitions are three times more likely to spend significant periods of time not in education, employment or training (NEET)5.

41% of young people believe their future goals now seem “impossible to achieve”, rising to 1 in 2 of those surveyed from poorer backgrounds. 48% of those surveyed from poorer homes feel they will “never succeed in life”6.

Lack of connections

Connections are so important for a young person starting their career journey. Links gained through school, family, friends and wider networks to professionals in various sectors can create that crucial moment of inspiration to follow a particular path. It can mean access to industry-specific advice and insights, or being introduced to a first job opportunity.

Reseach has shown that better off peers benefit throughout from a stronger network of support and connections.

Disadvantaged students often lack useful social networks to learn about careers or access work experience opportunities, and are less likely to have completed professional work experience7.

Help us make change

Young people need us more than ever. That’s why MyBigCareer is bringing together schools, businesses and volunteers to connect young people to opportunities for work and education, provide the spark of inspiration to raise their aspirations, and help break through the barriers to social mobility.

1Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2019

2BBC News, 2012

3Careers England, 2019

4Impetus, 2019

5Ofsted, 2013

6Prince’s Trust, 2020

7upREACH, 2019