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David Evennett: I thank the Minister for her comments and for the information she has given us, and I also thank everybody who has participated in today’s debate, which is vitally important. We need to work together across parties to ensure that we achieve what we all want, which is to make sure that the deprived areas have the best opportunities for young people and to create aspiration and opportunities...
David Evennett: I beg to move, That this House has considered social mobility. It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Bone. I am grateful to be able to raise this subject, which I believe is vital to our country as we develop global Britain and look to a successful and exciting future. Among other roles outside politics, I have worked as both a teacher and a lecturer, so I am particularly...
David Evennett: I welcome my hon. Friend’s intervention. I, too, am a product of social mobility: education and social mobility have characterised my life. I was born into a family whose origins were in the east end of London, but, through family, education and opportunity, my grandparents and parents were able to develop and get on in life. I am therefore always grateful for the opportunities I had from...
David Evennett: I totally agree—and, of course, the opportunities have to be there for people to do it. That is what this debate is about. Last month, the World Economic Forum highlighted the problem of poor social mobility around the world. It concluded that where someone is born still pretty much determines the opportunities they get in life. It also published a new global social mobility index, on which...
David Evennett: I thank my hon. Friend for giving us that informative statistic. Conservative Governments have made considerable progress since 2010, particularly on education standards and opportunities. Education gives us a better understanding of the world around us, helps us to develop a perspective for looking at life and helps us to build opinions. It is key to social mobility. Some 86% of schools are...
David Evennett: That is a good point, and that is regrettable in 21st century Britain. The “Elitist Britain” report made a number of policy recommendations, but I want to highlight two of them: “Recruitment practices should be open and transparent” and “Leading social mobility employers should take a sector leadership role and share best practice.” In the previous Parliament and the one before...
David Evennett: My hon. Friend is making a very powerful case and we are listening with great interest. Does he agree that if this issue is not successfully addressed, we will have disaffected youth, there will be consequences for local communities and a loss of real potential—of real talent—in our workforce?
David Evennett: What fiscal steps he is taking to help small businesses.
David Evennett: We all know that small businesses are the driver of growth and prosperity across our country, but too many struggle because of high business rates. Can the Minister confirm that the Conservative Government will extend the retail discount of 50% later this year, giving a much-needed tax cut to millions of small businesses on high streets across the country?
David Evennett: What steps she is taking to divert young people away from violent crime.
David Evennett: Can my hon. Friend assure me that the police have all the powers they need to crack down on the scourge of knife crime, which is ruining so many lives across the country, but particularly in London? Could she update the House on what plans she has to target repeat knife carriers?
David Evennett: If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.
David Evennett: What steps is my right hon. Friend taking to attract highly skilled scientists and engineers to come and work in our country and contribute to our successful future?
David Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timetable is for announcing the successful bidder of the South Eastern Rail Franchise.
David Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to improve the attainment of white British boys who are in receipt of free school meals.
David Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps her Department is taking to support small business growth in (a) Bexley Borough, (b) London and (c) the UK.
David Evennett: I welcome my right hon. Friend’s comments on this important issue. Does he agree that this country has an amazing potential to continue to grow our economy dramatically by supporting new green industries?
David Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support and improve stuck schools; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the January 2020 Ofsted report, Fight or flights? How stuck schools are overcoming isolation.
David Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Mayor of London on the further delays to Crossrail.
David Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays to Crossrail on the viability of the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet infrastructure proposal.