‘Poshness test’ is the new glass ceiling: Working-class denied top jobs as firms prefer ‘well-travelled candidates with the right accent’ – Home News – UK – The Independent

According to this excellent article in the Independent, prejudice, blocking social mobility in the UK, is widespread. It’s a must-read. Check it out!

via ‘Poshness test’ is the new glass ceiling: Working-class denied top jobs as firms prefer ‘well-travelled candidates with the right accent’ – Home News – UK – The Independent.

The article examines research by Alan Milburn’s  Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission.

Of course, there has always been prejudice in the UK, in favor of the privileged, those with family wealth and social connections.

During my early career, I found that ambitious, hard-working and talented people from working-class backgrounds often had an edge – they’d grown up in the school of ‘hard-knocks’ and were quicker to seize opportunities, where privileged people felt socially uncomfortable and ill-prepared.

These days, increasingly, with downsizing, offshoring, robotics, and increasing deployment of technology, there are fewer jobs to go round, so there’s a different challenge. People with connections get the unpaid work experience in privileged organizations in their holidays and they are able to do exotic things in their gap year etc.

It’s commendable that the UK government and some leading firms are committed to social mobility. But the reality is that there is not a level playing field.

Let me turn this to an open open question:

Do you think that UK social mobility would be improved by re-introducing national service for all eighteen year olds, like in Israel for example?


Postwar education at a vexing crossroads | The Japan Times

This insightful and top-trending article in the Japan Times looks at education in Japan since WWII, and the emerging reforms. It’s a recommended read. Check it out!

via Postwar education at a vexing crossroads | The Japan Times.

It’s interesting to contrast education achievements, with say their equivalent in the US or the UK? In Anglo-Saxon countries, there are still often problems with basic literacy and numeracy. Everywhere in the World, there’s a polarization towards the educated and the non-educated – without a university degree, it’s increasingly hard to get a good job. But in the West, there’s an enormous difference between private and public education – the highest standards are normally in private education but this is typically restricted to the privileged children of wealthy parents.

Looking at publicly funded education, I have always regarded the heavily unionized teaching profession in the West, with suspicion. If you throw in the meddling of politicians and the bungling of bureaucrats, that’s surely a recipe for disaster?

Perhaps, Anglo Saxon countries can achieve more effective national education policies by bench-marking against Japan and Korea?