Professions must open doors to all backgrounds

Careers in journalism, law and medicine should do more to widen their intake

Young people from poorer backgrounds are being shut out of professional careers and need to be given more of a chance, according to government advisers.

The deputy prime minister’s social mobility adviser Alan Milburn says more needs to be done to broaden the intake of young people into professions such as law, journalism and medicine.

He maintained that while internship schemes are a lottery, nothing is successfully being done to widen recruitment opportunities, amid concerns that entrants to the professions were increasingly from a narrow social group.

‘There’s a series of barriers that, maybe inadvertently, the professions put in the way of those with the ability and aptitude from a variety of backgrounds getting even a first foot on the ladder,’ says Mr Milburn.

The report aims to raise career awareness and increase the pool for recruiting employees into professions, while deputy prime minister Nick Clegg says social mobility is a complex issue.

‘Too many professions are, in effect, shutting out opportunities for youngsters who are under-represented in those professions,’ he says.

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