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Lord Heseltine to give evidence to Lords Employment and COVID-19 inquiry

Monday 28 September 2020

Should the Government intervene in the market by supporting sectors that are seen to be ‘industries of the future’? How effective will the Kickstart policy and the financial incentives to take on apprentices be? Do the measures announced in the Winter Economic Plan provide the support that the transport sector requires?

These are among the question the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be asking three panels of witnesses on Tuesday 29 September 2020. These sessions are part of the Committee’s Employment and COVID-19 inquiry.

These public evidence sessions will have remote participation by witnesses and Committee members. The session will be streamed live on Parliament TV.

The first session will begin at 3pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Lord Heseltine.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Should existing employment and support policies, such as the Job Support Scheme and the extension of the loan schemes, be used to pursue other Government objectives, such as the ‘levelling up’ agenda?
  • Why have successive UK Governments struggled to shift the UK from a low-skills to a high-skills trajectory?
  • What lessons can be learned from previous training schemes such as the Youth Training Scheme or the New Deal?
  • What can be learnt from previous structural adjustments to the economy?

The second session will begin at 3.30pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Professor Sandra McNally, Professor of Economics, the University of Surrey
  • Professor Anne Green, Professor of Regional Economic Development, the University of Birmingham
  • Stephen Evans, CEO, Learning and Work Institute.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • Are policies on adult training, further and higher education careers guidance, and apprenticeships, sufficiently aligned in the current system?
  • Is the training and skills system capable of supporting a targeted approach?
  • Are there comparable examples of job guarantee schemes from other countries that the Learning and Work Institute modelled its Youth Guarantee proposal on?
  • To what extent has the pandemic exposed inequalities across skill levels and the labour market in essential and basic skills?
  • Will the Government’s Winter Economic Plan work?

The third session will begin at 4.30pm. Giving evidence will be:

  • Robert Griggs, Policy and Public Affairs Director, Airlines UK
  • Andy Bagnall, Chief Strategy Officer, Rail Delivery Group
  • Graham Vidler, Chief Executive, Confederation of Passenger Transport
  • Norman Baker, Adviser to the CEO, Campaign for Better Transport.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask include:

  • What are the key challenges facing the transport sector?
  • How effective have the various Government-backed loan schemes been in providing support?
  • Will business and leisure travel patterns change significantly going forwards?
  • Which transport and infrastructure projects should be prioritised for a ‘transport-led recovery’?
  • Could the UK lose its competitive world market position in aviation without further support?

More on this inquiry, Employment and Covid-19

The Committee is looking into the effect of Covid-19 on the labour market and what urgent measures should be taken to protect and create jobs. It will also examine how the labour market may change as a result of the pandemic in the longer term.

Last week the Business Growth Fund, British Chambers of Commerce, TheCityUK, British Retail Consortium, Centre for Retail Research, and USDAW gave evidence to the Committee. The transcripts are available online and you can also watch the session back on Parliament TV.

This inquiry has its own web page.

More on the Economic Affairs Committee

The Economic Affairs Committee is one of the five permanent investigative committees in the House of Lords and is charged with considering economic affairs.

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