Finding your routes: non-graduate pathways in the UK’s labour market

Published on Jobs, Skills and Pay

This report, commissioned by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, explores how poor career routes are holding back the ‘forgotten forty per cent’ of the workforce – mid-skilled workers with at least five A*-C GCSEs but without a university education. 

The report highlights three key tasks facing the government in order to boost the career prospects of mid-skilled workers:

  • Encouraging the spread of pathways that work: non-graduates are climbing the career ladder in some sectors but are stuck in others. Support for workers to match their skills to appropriate industries must be spread and shared across sectors.
  • Reopening routes that have become blocked: the labour market needs unblocking so that graduates don’t clog up non-graduate roles. While a continuing labour market recovery may help to resolve this issue, the government must be alive to any structural decline in job mobility among young people.
  • Creating new routes for groups that currently don’t progress: for some groups, particularly women with children. New solutions – such as the development of good quality part-time roles and ensuring Universal Credit creates stronger incentives to move up – are badly needed.