Speaking to an audience of the capital’s business leaders and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, the leader of Britain’s largest business group will call for a lasting partnership between business and City Hall to tackle the major problems facing the city, from climate change to housing.
Carolyn Fairbairn will be speaking at the CBI’s annual London Summer Reception, hosted and sponsored by Investec Corporate and Investment banking business.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, will say:
“It can be tempting to think that that the big problems we face today – climate change, housing crisis, violence, inequality – are so pressing, and so difficult that they can only be tackled only by government, with business as spectators.
“I just don’t think this is right. It’s precisely because these problems are so pressing and so difficult that the role of business matters so much. The answer to the question: “Government or business?” is not one or the other. It’s both. It must be a partnership.”
On the role of business in helping to make London safer, Carolyn will say:
“One of your big goals, Sadiq, has been – and still is – to make London safer.
“It might not seem like business has much of a role here. And I’d agree that on the face of it we don’t. On the frontlines, at the times of crisis, our brilliant police force and social services are the true heroes – and we all place our trust in their skills and experience to keep us safe.
“But business does have a big part to play – in building the foundations for a safer world by enabling social mobility, creating good jobs, and investing in communities. These are the bricks that, over time, enable us to build a society at ease with itself.
“Business connects people. It creates opportunity. It creates shared interest, a common purpose, even among people very different from one another. And, most of important of all, it creates jobs – we know there is no better route out of a bad start than a good job.
“But here, too, I believe we as business need to do more. And for me, driving change has to start early. We know, for example, that getting business leaders into schools can make a huge difference. As I never tire of repeating, if a young person has 4 engagements with businesses at school, they are 5 times less likely to be unemployed as adults.
“It can be as simple as offering work experience, taking to the stage at an assembly, or becoming a governor. At the CBI, we are leading a campaign to help more schools connect with business and vice versa. We won’t stop till every business and every school is involved.”
On the partnership between the Mayor of London and business, Carolyn will say:
“I’d like to end by thanking the Mayor for standing up for business, for standing up for London on the global stage, and for keeping London open – to talent and people from around the world. You have done so much. But we all know there is so much still to do.
“Here’s our proposal from the world of business: Our door is open, our time and resources are yours to help you tackle the problems London faces. If we can build a lasting partnership, business & government together.
“Imagine what we could achieve – a global, open, and safe city where all are welcome to start and run a business powered by clean energy; affordable homes to attract and retain our great talent; and jobs and opportunities to connect and change lives, right from the earliest years. It feels like there’s never been a better time for us to be working together to invent the next exciting chapter in London’s future.”