Bishop of Oxford calls for employment interventions to address inequality and help levelling up

On 15th October 2020 Baroness Bull asked the Government “what assessment they have made of the report by the Social Mobility Commission The long shadow of deprivation, published on 15 September.” The Bishop of Oxford asked a further question:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I welcome this report and it is good to hear the Minister welcome it too. Deprivation is an issue that goes to the core of natural justice, and therefore our common good as a nation. Does the Minister accept in particular the report’s findings that employment interventions are as critical as educational improvement in addressing systematic inequalities and levelling up? What additional steps do the Government propose to take to improve employment opportunities, particularly when facing the current recession, in the cold spots that the report identifies across the nation?

Baroness Berridge (Con): My Lords, the report was co-commissioned by the department and uses the longitudinal educational outcomes data the department has been collecting. Yes, in addition to skills, social mobility obviously does not end at the age of 18. That is why we have made level 3 qualifications fully funded from April next year—available to everyone, regardless of age. We are looking at digital training and digital boot camps in areas of the country. There is a whole effort in reskilling at the moment.