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Social Mobility

Defence – in the House of Commons on 16th March 2020.

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Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Labour, Mitcham and Morden

What recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of social mobility in the armed forces.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

We aim to attract talent from the widest possible base across the UK, regardless of socio-economic background, educational status or ethnicity. The skills, education, training and experience provided enable recruits to progress as far as their aptitude will take them, and benefit from promotion based on merit.

Photo of Siobhain McDonagh Siobhain McDonagh Labour, Mitcham and Morden

New data reveals that there are nearly as many cadet forces in fee-paying schools as in the entire state system, despite just 7% of the UK population being privately educated. To ensure greater social mobility in our forces, will the Minister tell the House what his Department is doing to increase the number of combined cadet forces in state schools?

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Government are committed to establishing 500 new cadet forces across the country, with a big focus on state schools. We are absolutely clear that people’s socioeconomic background has absolutely zero to do with their opportunity to serve. The opportunities of service are there for everybody.