Are you ready to ELBA? A letter to London’s new Mayor, Sadiq Khan

 In Blog, CEO's blog, Community, Education, Employment

Well, all the politics and voting are over and London has a new Mayor. Now it’s time to get on with all the things needed to keep this city one of the best in the world. Whichever way people voted, they will all be anxious to let the new incumbent know what he should do first, and he will be bombarded by advice from all sides. I can see no good reason at all why ELBA should hold back from this opinion-fest, particularly with a new Mayor who has made much of his own social mobility – ELBA’s stock-in-trade.

Dear Sadiq,


Congratulations on your election.  Like all London organisations, ELBA wishes you every success in the next four years. Nobody could argue with your pledge to be a Mayor for all Londoners. With this in mind and reflecting on your own career, you will no doubt want to give early attention to issues of social mobility. ELBA members have been taking practical steps to secure social mobility and community cohesion for over 20 years and there are three points to suggest as you turn to this important issue:


1. Businesses are clearly part of the solution in securing social mobility. You will want to make early contact with London’s leading businesses, and I would like to suggest the first should be those who have demonstrated their commitment to “London for all Londoners”. ELBA members, by definition, are active and engaged and would be a good place to start.


2. Focus on young people. That’s not rocket science, and as you know, London is a very young city, but there is too much evidence (House of Lords Select Committee of Social Mobility; Institute for Fiscal Studies) that no matter how hungry for success and progress, and no matter how hard they work to get good qualifications, the background and connections of their family still outweighs young peoples’ achievements when it comes to getting a job and securing good earnings. Starting early in their formal education, regular and structured contact with the world of business can help young Londoners from all backgrounds build the employability skills and networks they need to get a good start in their careers.


3. Look east. The jobs and the opportunities, but also the need for intervention, are all in North East, East and South East London. ELBA’s job is to connect the opportunity to the need – but there is so much more to do.


So good luck, and we look forward to working with you. When you are ready to ELBA, just let us know – we would be only too happy to help.



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