As a member of the policy and resources committee I had a change to discuss plans for the City Corporation to adopt a long term commitment to improve social mobility and digital skills in the City. In addition, I called for action to strengthen our commitment to the London Living wage

Promoting social mobility and digital skills

In the debate about our social mobility strategy – see more here. Whilst I fully support the strategy I asked officers to ensure that we look at social mobility not just from perspective of our current residents, City workers and students, but that an important part of our strategy should be about attracting a more diverse group of people to take up careers in the City. I also emphasised that we need to link this strategy to our work supporting schools such as The City Academy Hackney – of which I am a Governor; and that our first priority should be to look at what we as Corporation can do ourselves, rather than just promoting social mobility as a broader concept. Let’s start with ourselves.

London Living Wage

On that note I also expressed my concerns that a paper with plans to strengthen and improve our commitment to the London Living Wage – both looking at our contractors as well as moving payment forward in the financial year in order for colleagues to get paid any increases earlier in the year – was not presented as promised back in July. There is now a hard commitment to bring this to the policy and resources committee for approval in October. So watch this space.

Digital Skills Strategy

We also approved the City Corporation’s Digital Skills Strategy for 2018-23. This commits the City Corporation to working with partners – both internally with the Lord Mayor for example, and externally – to respond to current and future digital skills needs and opportunities to enhance the City’s competitiveness, encourage digital creativity and ensure ‘digital citizenship’, where people feel digitally included and safe. As my day job is working for tech company HP Inc, this is a topic close to my heart. Again our City of London family of schools and Academies have a crucial role to play in this strategy.

Alderman Peter Estlin introduced the paper at the meeting and explained that Digital Skills will be one of his key priorities during his Mayoralty next year. Activities in the first year of this strategy can be summarised as: four influencing events with cross-sectoral stakeholders, a curriculum pilot in our Academies, the continuation of the She Can Be programme via The Lord Mayor’s Appeal and a variety of work aimed at promoting work readiness.