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Nick Clegg joins Board of Social Mobility Foundation

September 6, 2015 3:49 PM
By Caron Lindsay in Liberal Democrat Voice
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg Illiteracy PledgeWay back in 1998, Nick Clegg walked into a dingy room in Leicester to be interviewed as a potential European candidate for the East Midlands. I have to say I was not particularly optimistic about this. His CV was the most boring thing I had ever read that wasn't a phone book. That's not to decry his illustrious career to date, working at a high level in the European Commission and a brief stint as a journalist in New York. It just didn't inspire.

However, he came in that night and blew us all away with his sheer passion for breaking down barriers for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. This has been the driving force of his political career and why in government he drove the Pupil Premium and nursery education for so many disadvantaged 2 year olds.

It's no surprise, then that he's joined the board of the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity that helps young people from disadvantaged backgrounds into universities and into professions like the law, medicine and business. He joins the likes of former Labour Cabinet Minister Hazel Blears and former Chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission Trevor Phillips on the Board.

As is my habit, I had to look up how diverse the board of ten trustees were. It's not dreadful, with 4/10 women and 1/10 BAME people but could be better. It seems a bit odd, though, that on the press release announcing Nick's appointment, the only other trustees who were mentioned were four men, which perhaps shows a little unconscious bias.

Nick said on his appointment:

"I am delighted to be joining the Social Mobility Foundation as a Trustee. I have long admired the pioneering work of the SMF in expanding educational and vocational opportunities for youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds.

"Real opportunity is still denied to far too many young people in Britain today. The schemes run by SMF show how that can be changed when employers, schools, Government and charities work effectively together."

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings