The Great Escape? The chances of escaping low pay in 21st Century Britain

Thursday 19 October 2017 Jobs, Skills and Pay

Speech by Alan Milburn, Chair of the Social Mobility Commission

Britain has among the highest proportion of low paid workers in Europe, despite the welcome introduction and ramping up of the National Living Wage.

While long-term low paid work can leave some in working poverty, it is often argued that it provides a route on and up into better jobs. But how easy is it to escape low pay in reality? What barriers do low paid workers face? And what can employers and policy makers do to ensure that more low paid jobs in Britain are stepping stones towards higher paying roles?

At an event at its Westminster headquarters, the Resolution Foundation presented the findings from new research it has carried out for the Social Mobility Commission on escaping low pay. Alan Milburn made a keynote speech on why progression out of low pay is vital for social mobility, and a panel of experts debated what policies are needed to boost progression. An audience Q&A followed.