In a Parliamentary Debate, Justin Madders, MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Mobility raised concerns about regional variations in social mobility.
His comments followed the release of reports by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission and the Sutton Trust, which both found that young people in London and its commuter belt enjoy significantly higher levels of social mobility than those living in the rest of the country.
The reports also demonstrate that young people living in areas just a few miles apart can enjoy vastly different life chances. During the debate, Justin pointed out that according to the Sutton Trust, people living in Chester have significantly higher levels of social mobility than in his own constituency of Ellesmere Port & Neston.
He concluded his speech by challenging all parties to consider the impact on social mobility whenever decisions are made:
“Giving everyone opportunity in life is a core part of why I am involved in politics. To me, it is about fairness, and it should be a basic ingredient in any progressive society. Let us ensure that every new policy and initiative is met with the same question from all parties: “Will this help improve social mobility?””
Following the debate Justin said:
“All too often, where people are born and who they are born to defines what their life chances will be and sadly in this country, the problem has been getting worse.
The Social Mobility Index is extremely useful, in that it allows us to clearly identify areas that are doing better at improving the life chances of their most disadvantaged young people and to ensure that this good practice is spread around the country. Through the work of the APPG, I hope that we will be able to make a number of positive suggestions in the coming years to the government and other bodies.
However, I am deeply concerned that the policies of the current Government including scrapping student maintenance grants and NHS bursaries will cause the gap between the most advantaged and disadvantaged young people to grow even further.”