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Alan Milburn warns of UK’s “profound social crisis” at CIPR AGM

Ex Cabinet Minister and former Chair of the Social Mobility Commission, Alan Milburn warned a lack of social cohesion was the greatest challenge facing UK society, at the CIPR’s AGM in Newcastle last week.

“We’ve never been more divided by gender, income, race and age, and that threatens the cohesion of society,” said Milburn addressing a room of 50 PR professionals.

The former Chief Secretary to the Treasury added that “discombobulated politics” around Brexit detracted from serious issues facing large swathes of UK society.

“When 7 in 10 job offers in some professional firms go to those who’ve been privately educated it’s obvious the current playfield field is unbalanced,” said Milburn.

Despite the divisions, Milburn pointed to a growing appetite for social mobility amongst citiziens. He highlighted recent campaigns including the #MeToo movement as examples of grassroots initiatives driving social change.

Milburn said the responsibility for driving change ultimately fell to individuals and local communities. He urged professionals to look beyond Russell Group universities when hiring and offer “someone who isn’t a relative or a friend” the opportunity to intern.

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