Sutton Trust Founder, Sir Peter Lampl, is quoted by Sean Coughlan in article on latest OECD report for the BBC.
Social mobility is so frozen that it would take five generations for a poorer family in the UK to reach the average income, an OECD report says.
The economics think tank says income inequality has widened since the 1990s, with high earners accelerating ahead.
Those born before 1975 had much more chance of social mobility than those born afterwards, the study says.
“Too many people feel they are being left behind,” the OECD’s chief of staff, Gabriela Ramos, says.
The international study, A Broken Social Elevator?, says high earners are getting bigger rewards and consolidating wealth for the next generations.
It also says those at the bottom of the ladder are finding it increasingly difficult to help their families catch up – with social mobility declining.
In the UK, the study found only about a fifth of the children of low-income families went on to become high earners.
Almost three-quarters of the children of graduates in the UK went to university – compared with a fifth of children from low-income families.
And among the children of parents with manual jobs in the UK, only about a quarter would get managerial jobs.
Sir Peter Lampl of the Sutton Trust social mobility charity, said: “These depressing new findings should be a wake-up call.”
He blamed the UK’s poor social mobility on “rising wage inequality and the relationship between family income and educational attainment”.