The government, the quangoes, the Guardianistas, and so on, are telling Universities and employers that they should avoid the products of privilege and look for people with lesser qualifications who have not had the benefits of ‘privilege’. In other words, don’t take in the kid from Eton with the shining CV, take in the kid from Bog End state school with Bs and Cs, because he or she did well to even get that, so they may have lots of untapped potential.
Occasionally that may be true. But it’s like saying to a football manager, don’t buy striker A who scored fifty goals in the league below last year because he had the advantage of going to a football academy. Buy striker B who scored fifteen goals in the same league, because he didn’t go to any academy, so he did well to even get fifteen, so he probably has a lot of untapped potential.
It may be true that striker B would be a much better player if he had gone to the academy. But he didn’t. So the result is that A is a much better player than B. B may still have some potential that has not been realised, and may yet be realised, but most of his opportunities for developing that potential are gone. It’s too late now. And you’re only guessing anyway that he has any room for development. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe that’s the best he can get. Or maybe he has so many ingrained bad habits from his poor development that he can’t get much better.
(I see this all the time with kids’ cricket. So many kids develop bad techniques at a young age because they weren’t given proper coaching, or because they didn’t pay enough attention to getting their game right, and before long it’s almost impossible to fix them.)
Of course employing graduates is not just a matter of looking at their school or University results, which may have little correlation with their ability to do the job in question. But the general principle still applies. Whatever your criteria in an employee are, you want someone who actually fits those criteria, not someone who may possibly have fitted them if they had had the opportunities the other applicants had.
[This was initially going to be the last part of my Kids and Screentime posts, but when I read back over it I realised that it no longer had much to do with screen time, so I re-titled it.]