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Government publishes analysis of independent research on social mobility

03 November 2008

The Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit has today published 'Getting On, Getting Ahead,' [PDF 1MB, 95 pages] which analyses the evidence base on social mobility.

'Getting On, Getting Ahead, a discussion paper analysing the trends and drivers of social mobility’ takes independent academic research and identifies key trends and drivers of social mobility. It finds that social mobility remained broadly stable since 1970. The evidence since 2000 suggests it may start to rise in future.

The report identifies four key areas where the Government can have the most significant impact on improving social mobility:

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Liam Byrne, said:

“This report collects the best evidence available on how easily people can get ahead in Britain. It presents some powerful lessons from the past and some signs of good news.

"What seems clear is that despite the huge social, economic and political changes between 1970 and 2000, social mobility didn't go up - it stayed the same. Now, things look like they're starting to improve.

"The key for the future appears to be capturing a big share of high value jobs that will come as the world economy changes over the next 20 years plus investing in the things, like Sure Start, school standards, post 16 education and more training at work to give more people a fairer chance to get on".

In June, the Prime Minister announced that a flagship White Paper will be published by the end of the year, setting out the Government's vision of a Britain where everyone can make the most of their potential.

Notes to editors

  1. The Prime Minister announced in his speech to the Specialist School and Academies Trust on 23rd June 2008 that a flagship White Paper will be published by the end of the year. To view the speech:
  2. The Prime Minster commissioned the Strategy Unit (based in the Cabinet Office), to produce a discussion paper to provide an analysis of all the independent academic evidence available on social mobility and identify the areas where government could make the most impact, to ensure that everyone in Britain has a fair chance to succeed. To view the Getting On, Getting Ahead discussion paper visit: [PDF 1MB, 95 pages]
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