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CEO Sarah Atkinson Responds to the Queen’s Speech

We have long argued that the government’s levelling-up agenda must prioritise people and skills – not just infrastructure. So while the ‘lifetime skills guarantee’ in the Queen’s Speech is a welcome step in the right direction, targeted support is needed at a much earlier age. The pandemic has wiped out a decade of progress in closing the attainment gap and the on-the-ground impact of this cannot be understated. Government must put the needs of low-income young people at the heart of decision making: from post-16 qualifications to the long-term plan for education.

It is now clear that young people are the economic victims of this pandemic. Giving them the best chance in life demands putting social mobility at the heart of the levelling-up agenda. We stand ready to support the Equality Hub and government more broadly to deliver this work – ensuring fairness, not privilege, dictates who gets ahead in the post-Covid economic recovery.

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