Father’s occupation, children’s vocabulary, and whether changing occupation creates social mobility in the UK

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In the UK the issue of social mobility, the link between a person’s life outcomes and that of their parents, has been of concern since the 1970s. Despite many interventions and policy initiatives this link has become “entrenched” with those who are born into low-income families taking on average 5 generations to reach the mean national income.

Education is a key lever for social mobility, the development of language skills and vocabulary are not just an important prerequisite for learning but are an essential skill for later employment and life outcomes.

Changes in father’s occupation during the early years has an impact on child outcomes throughout childhood. At a time when retraining and upskilling are priorities it’s important that these opportunities reach parents and are linked with wider educational and social equality agendas.