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.
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Issued: 18 January, 2010