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Shaun Bailey: 'London should work for all'

MAYORAL BID: Conservative Shaun Bailey will report to the London Assembly if he is elected as Mayor of London

THE HEARTBEAT of any city is the people who live and work in it.

London needs a strong economy to flourish on the world stage and workers play an integral role in contributing to this success.

The city has so much to offer the people who work here; however, it is clear that some people are still falling through the net, including the city’s black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.

If elected mayor in 2020, I will stand on a platform to make sure London’s economy works for everyone.

I was born and grew up in Ladbroke Grove and before entering politics, I spent my career as an inner-city youth worker in west London, trying to address unemployment and improve the life chances of young people in the area.

I know that the city’s economic successes do not always translate into tangible benefits for everyone. I understand this from the personal experiences of my family, my neighbours and my community.

I want to build a city where Londoners can achieve their potential and thrive in whichever job they do.

Work not only grows the economy, but it is also a key driver of lifting people out of poverty. London has a vibrant economy with a huge breadth of diverse and innovative opportunities to offer those who work here. The economy is on the up, unemployment is on the decrease, so why are sections of our community still left behind?

Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that, in March 2018, the unemployment rate in London was 3.4 per cent among white ethnic groups, yet eight per cent among ethnic minority groups.

But in the BAME community, this rises to 8.4 per cent. If you look at just dual heritage people, this figure rises yet again to 9.7 per cent.

Recent research by the Resolution Foundation also showed that black Caribbean graduates have a jobs gap of around five per cent compared to their white counterparts, demonstrating that the skills of highly-qualified black groups are not yet being fully fed into the UK’s labour market.

The statistics paint an imbalanced picture of employment experiences for the BAME community, but it does not have to be this way. I passionately believe in self-determination, independence and aspiration.

If elected mayor, I will endeavour to tackle the root causes of these inequalities head-on. I will strive to provide jobs, work security and an aspirational route out of poverty. I will work closely with Londoners so I can best help them to access the opportunities this city has to offer. I will not shy away from confronting difficult injustices of any kind.

My message is simple: I want to help you act on your ambitions, contribute to society, and achieve your potential.

I want all Londoners to have a real stake in society, no matter what their ethnicity, gender, background or age. London has a bright future and I will strive to ensure that everyone can fully embrace it.

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