It would appear that the UK is still dominated by class – and we don't mean schools on this occasion.
The culture of upper, middle and working class families may well conjure up images of Victorian life where the fascination of those belonging to a certain class according to their occupation or upbringing was rife.
According to a recent BBC survey of 160,000 people, it would appear that the class system is still very much around albeit in a very fragmented format. Upon looking at the results it would seem to us that the whole system is really rather pointless and serves more as a novelty value for those who are interested in hanging on to Britain’s colourful past.
For all the tradespeople out there who have long wondered what the perception of the trade is from a non-tradespersons point of view may be pleased to know that electricians and plumbers have been defined as 'new affluent workers' who make up 15% of the population. Yes new affluent workers are part of a handful of new classes that now make up Britain’s new class system!
So what has happened to the traditional upper, middle and working class? Well they're still around, although unsurprisingly the upper class has re-named itself as the 'elite' which makes up just 6% of the population. The traditional working class makes up 14% of the population, the average age of a person in the working class is 66 and are based in pre-industrial towns and although defined as the same class as before, it has been described as a throw back to a by gone era. The 'precariat' class, which is described as deprived has broken away from working class.
The middle class has been broken up into fragments which mainly describe the occupation and age of the people within it. Only a quarter of the population fits into the 'established middle class' which is made up of people within traditional occupations such as teachers, town planners and engineers.
In addition to the affluent middle class, there are various other fragments with equally interesting names.
* Emergent service sector – a group dominated by young graduates working in occupations such as HR and call centres. - 1 in 5 of the population work in occupations such as these.
* Technical middle class – made up of IT specialists and scientists described as well paid and highly skilled are also described as culturally disengaged and socially isolated, more likely to enjoy video games over opera.
There is such fragmentation of the middle class that there is constant blurring and of course its highly unlikely that anyone has really noticed they have been defined into one of these fragments.
Mind you, we at Trade Skills 4 U quite like the term new affluent workers, it sounds quite favourable especially as we've long since being dubbed as scruffy white van types!