How much more likely Britain's most influential people are to have gone to fee-paying school.


The proportion of leaders in finance that think presentation stops disadvantaged candidates from being hired.


The monthly cost of an unpaid internship in London.


The proportion of young people who have carried out an internship without pay.

How can we change this?

Our research has uncovered practical, evidence-based solutions to make sure all careers are open to the most talented people, regardless of their background or what school they attended.

An end to unpaid internships

An end to unpaid internships

Internships are increasingly seen as a necessary step to start a career, yet we have found that these opportunities are all too often unpaid and recruited through informal networks, effectively putting them out of reach of many low income youngsters.

The law should be changed to make it clear that all internships longer than four weeks should be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. Internships should be advertised with recruitment processes that are fair, transparent and based on merit.


PAY AS YOU GO? (2018)



Contextual recruitment

Contextual recruitment

Our research has consistently shown how young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds are under-represented in leading professions, including at the point of entry.

Employers should consider contextual recruitment practices that place an applicant’s academic success in the context of disadvantage, including attending an underperforming school and growing up in a less advantaged neighbourhood.  Ensuring more young people from lower income homes gain access to entry level positions is an important first step in ensuring the professions overall become more representative.



Careers advice

Careers advice

Good careers advice from an early age is crucial for allowing young people to make informed decisions about their next steps. This has never been more important than today, as the system is more complex to navigate with multiple education options and new career pathways. Yet we know there is a postcode lottery in the quality of guidance on offer, and those from the poorest backgrounds often have the least support.

High quality, impartial and timely careers advice should be available to young people from all backgrounds. All pupils should receive a guaranteed level of careers advice from professional independent advisers, with further support available for those facing disadvantage.




Explore our priorities

Early Years Early Years icon

Early Years

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Higher education Higher education icon

Higher education

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