Low levels of social mobility are harming the economy, says Stroud MP

11:19am Friday 31st January 2014

STROUD MP Neil Carmichael believes social mobility is the key to raising productivity and boosting the UK’s economic performance.

In an article for the Conservative Home website penned last week, the Conservative politician said a lack of social mobility was hampering productivity growth and the Coalition Government was right to be ‘relentlessly pursuing policies to address this shortcoming’.

Although growth has returned to the economy after three years of stagnation, Mr Carmichael said poor productivity remained a particular cause for concern.

“At the heart of the debate about the economy, is the persistent and worrying problem of restricted social mobility with the related consequence of sluggish growth in productivity,” he said.

In his piece, Mr Carmichael pointed out that the productivity gap between the UK and Germany had widened to ‘a staggering 29 per cent’ and concluded that the UK was ‘squandering its resource of people’.

“The Coalition Government is relentlessly pursuing policies to address this shortcoming through reforming schools – especially teaching; recalibrating universities in terms of funding and recruitment, and, crucially, providing additional support for early years,” he said.

“These and other measures not only seek to address the skills shortage but also social mobility, a point made frequently by the secretary of state for education, Michael Gove.”

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