Why do we exist?

The Early Careers Foundation wants to create a society where talent, not background, determines a young person’s career success.

However, in the UK, we are still very far away from this reality

Children on Free School Meals are, at 27 years old:


less likely to be in sustained employment


more likely to be on out-of-work benefits

Family wealth at birth is the most accurate indicator of future financial success.

Not IQ, race or gender.

Only 6% of doctors, 12% of journalists and 12% of chief executives today are from working-class origins.

By age 25, someone who went to a fee paying school is, on average

than their state-educated peers.

A low ability child from a high-income family is


more likely to be a high earner

than a high ability child from a low income family.


We believe that early careers can be a fantastic leveller for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds – not to mention that employees from lower socio-economic backgrounds perform at least as well as their more advantaged colleagues, and often outperform them.

In fact, across seven leading law firms, employees educated at state schools are 75% more likely to be in the top 10% of performers than those educated at independent schools. However, family wealth at birth is the most accurate predictor of future financial success – why?

Career guidance in education is often patchy and outdated

Many young people leave university with a poor understanding of the career opportunities available to them. Often, the career path they do embark on will be through a chance encounter, an introduction through their network or the first thing they encountered when job searching.

Young people from low-income communities are typically the most disadvantaged when it comes to understanding of the world of careers. They often only know of very traditional professions such as being a doctor, lawyer or accountant.

How can they pursue a career path if they don’t even know it exists?

Higher education does not result in improved employment outcomes for many

More young people than ever from low-income families are now attending university.
For many, this has largely failed to translate into the career outcomes they had hoped for. Many remain stuck in non-graduate and low-paid roles.

Lack of connections in a culture of “who you know”, lack of industry knowledge, inability to move to London (where opportunity is concentrated) due to starting salaries that cannot cover living costs, not having internship experience many privileged candidates do and classist discrimination are all contributing factors.