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Black and Asian students do better in school than white Britons but find it harder to get a job

Young people from black and Asian Muslims communities in UK are more likely to be unemployed and face social immobility later in life than working class white boys despite doing better at school, new research by the Social Mobility Commission shows.

The ”Ethnicity, Gender and Social Mobility” report was commissioned by the Social Mobility Commission with research carried out by academics from LKMco and Education Datalab.

Student’s trajectories were examined as they progress through the early years, primary and secondary, through to sixth form and university. Finally, it looked at how attainment at school translates into the labour market.

The Social Mobility Commission said young people from black backgrounds and Asian Muslim women in particular struggled to convert academic achievement into improved job prospects later in life.

The study found that disadvantaged young people from white British backgrounds are the least likely to access higher education, with only 1 in 10 of the poorest attending university.

By comparison, 3 in 10 black Caribbean children, 5 in 10 Bangladeshis and nearly 7 in 10 amongst lowest income Chinese students attend university.

Despite this, ethnic minority groups experience higher unemployment rates compared to white British groups.

”The British social mobility promise is that hard work will be rewarded. This research suggests that promise is being broken for too many people in our society, ” said Alan Milburn, chair of the Social Mobility Commission.

”It is striking that many of the groups that are doing best at school or improving their results the most are losing out when it comes to jobs and opportunities later in life,” he added.

”A range of factors give rise to these differences and some require further research to understand specific issues. However, with regards to participation in the labour market, key factors include cultural, family and individual expectations, geography and direct/indirect discrimination,” wrote lead author of the study, Bart Shaw.

”Meanwhile in education, differences arise from access to schools, teachers’ perceptions of behaviour and practices such as tiering and setting. Out of school factors such as parental expectations and support also play a critical role,” he added.

The report comes just a few weeks after a separate government report on integration blamed ”cultural and religious practices” for leaving women from Muslim communities economically and socially isolated.

The Social Mobility Commission report found that women from all ethnicities were being paid less than their male counterparts.

On average, women were paid about 18 percent less than men.

Daniel Pruitt