Documents to download

On 16 May 2019, the House of Lords is due to debate a motion moved by Baroness Grender (Liberal Democrat) that “this House takes note of the need to deliver equality of opportunity and beneficial quality of life for young people”. In preparation for that debate, this briefing draws on two reports published in April that looked at equality of opportunity for young people, each from a different perspective.

The House of Lords Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee published a report on its inquiry into tackling intergenerational unfairness between older and younger generations. The committee observed that there is a “structural shift taking place, with younger generations not seeing the increase in living standards enjoyed by previous generations”. It said this was the result of “the failure of successive governments to plan for the future and prepare for social, economic and technological change”. The committee identified “disappointed expectations […] in housing and the workplace” as particular issues for younger generations. 

The Social Mobility Commission published its ‘state of the nation’ report on social mobility, which looked at the effects of inequality on the life chances of people within the same generation. The Social Mobility Commission stated that “inequality is now entrenched in Britain from birth to work, and the Government needs to take urgent action to help close the privilege gap”. It concluded that social mobility has been “stagnant” for the last four years, and “being born privileged still means you usually remain privileged”. It also found that “the dominance of background factors on future outcomes is further compounded when we look at the interaction with gender, ethnicity and disability”.

This briefing looks at some of the main thematic areas relevant to young people that emerge from these two reports: housing; further and higher education; and employment. For each theme, the briefing highlights key findings from the Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee and the Social Mobility Commission. Briefings from the Lords and Commons Libraries which provide more detailed information about government policy in these areas are suggested at the end of this briefing. This briefing also sets out data from the Office of National Statistics on measuring well-being and quality of life, looking at how the well-being of young people compares to that of other age groups.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • International Women’s Day 2024: Economic inclusion of women

    Economic disparities persist between men and women globally, with women generally facing lower pay, higher levels of informal employment, and more unpaid care work than men. Internationally, the UK government has made commitments to promote gender equality and economic inclusion, but concerns have been raised about the level of aid funding. In the UK, the government has expanded childcare places for working parents and supported private members’ bills to make changes to employment law.

    International Women’s Day 2024: Economic inclusion of women
  • Higher education: Contribution to the economy and levelling up

    The economic output of the UK higher education sector is estimated to be at least £116bn and graduates often experience better employment outcomes than non-graduates. Improving skills features in the government’s levelling up strategy and ministers have said that higher education institutions play a vital part in supporting regional economies. However, some stakeholders have criticised the government’s plans to restrict access to certain higher education courses and for not putting enough emphasis on the benefits provided by the sector.

    Higher education: Contribution to the economy and levelling up