Shocker: It’s who you know, not what you know that counts

Why the British government felt they needed to ask 2,272 people to confirm an ancient proverb, I have no idea. 65 per cent thought that who you know is more important that what you know when it comes to finding a job. But the results were actually a lot more interesting than the headline figure suggests, because of how contradictory they are.

  • The survey found that of all the groups asked if who or what you know is more important, the most in agreement were those who had apprentice-level qualifications. I can think of two reasons for this: either apprenticeship qualifications are so rare nowadays that the older generation skewed the figures (poorly reflecting the current situation) or among skilled labourers, getting an apprenticeship is damn near impossible unless you have the right connections.
  • Over three quarters of people agreed that family background significantly affects a person’s chances of doing well in life. Graduates (who are more likely to earn more) agreed with this more than average, hypothetically. But the weird thing is that they don’t attribute their own successes to their family background. People like to blame inequality, but don’t like to give it credit.
  • The majority of people said that education is the most important factor for doing well in life and getting a good job, but even though half said that many children can’t get decent education, they would rather the government spent money creating jobs instead.

So, to cut to the chase…people think who you know is important, but education is the key to getting a good job, even though the government shouldn’t focus on it. And they think family background is important but don’t give credit to their own.

Bottom line: it looks like proverbs are made up of contradictory hot air. Based on this survey, we know nothing more about true inequality than we did yesterday.

PS. Apologies for this. I have changed the comment rules on posts because I was inundated with people trying to market their cheap knockoff s**t. If you’ve commented before and I approved it, you’re fine. I’ll have to approve each individual user from now on, but I promise I won’t filter out the negative stuff – just the adverts.

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