Top professions and universities should be filled with the best people, not the richest

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date: 18 January 2010

embargo: For immediate release

Commenting on the Government response to the Final Report of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said:

'The UK's age old culture of careers being based on who you know rather than what you know must be tackled if we want our top professions and universities to be filled with the best people, and not simply the richest.

'New bursaries will help open up internships to people from poorer backgrounds who have not had a chance before because they cannot afford to work for free. But this new financial support does not mean that employers should be allowed to refuse to pay young people the minimum wage.

'The Government must also look at where new jobs are being created - such as green manufacturing - and ensure these are not affected by the same elitism that has dogged professions like medicine and law.'

NOTES TO EDITORS:

- TUC Deputy General Secretary Frances O' Grady was a member of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions.

- All TUC press releases can be found at www.tuc.org.uk

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Contacts:

Media enquiries:
Liz Chinchen T: 020 7467 1248 M: 07778 158175 E: media@tuc.org.uk
Rob Holdsworth T: 020 7467 1372 M: 07717 531150 E: rholdsworth@tuc.org.uk
Elly Brenchley T: 020 7467 1337 M: 07900 910624 E: ebrenchley@tuc.org.uk

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