Free website shows how post code lottery affects young people’s futures
A website capturing whether 18-year-olds across England are likely to be in education, employment or training based on their post codes has been launched following research by the University of Sheffield.
Professor Danny Dorling of the University’s Department of Geography helped develop the website – www.comparefutures.org – which will allow young people to compare life chances by post code.
The pioneering analysis proves how young people’s life chances are determined by where they are born and grow up. The site has been launched by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies based on work by researchers at the University of Sheffield and the University of Brighton and funded by the Nominet Trust.
Professor Danny Dorling of the University of Sheffield said: “There are huge inequalities between young people’s life chances that increasingly depend on where they are born. These inequalities are currently growing.”
The site will help highlight the stark contrast between what young people in different parts of England are mostly likely to be doing at the age of 18 and new statistics reveal that nationally, the proportion of 16 to 18 year olds not in education, employment or training has risen by eight per cent.
For instance, the data reveals that young people in Erdington, North East Birmingham are more than three times as likely to be unemployed as their peers in wealthy South Kensington.
In addition, despite being just 20 miles apart, young people in affluent Harrogate are seven times as likely to go to an elite university than their counterparts in Bradford. This demonstrates clearly the lack of social mobility in the UK.
Users can find detailed breakdowns by education, employment, training and caring responsibilities. In addition, they can compare the futures of teenagers in different areas, as well as comparing an area with the England average. A simple free registration module also allows users to save their comparisons, share them with friends through Twitter and Facebook, and contact their Member of Parliament to lobby for action.
Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, said:
“We are taught that life is what you make it, that the able will succeed, regardless of background. The website shows that where you are born and where you grow up has a huge influence on where you end up. It will help young people and their families lobby their MPs to challenge the postcode lottery.”
The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK’s leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, and 2007).
These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world. The University’s research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.
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