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BBC says a quarter of staff will come from poorer backgrounds after Dorries criticism

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BBC says a quarter of staff will come from poorer backgrounds after Dorries criticism.

It comes after the culture secretary, Nadine Dorries, was criticized by the corporation, suggesting that its staff is made up of people “whose parents had worked there”.

In its annual plan, published on Wednesday, the BBC said: “By 2027 we want 25 percent of our staff to come from a lower socio-economic background.”

The corporation has set “stretch goals” in a bid to improve equality and diversity in its workforce.

This includes having more staff from different socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as increasing the proportion of women, people with disabilities, and people from ethnic and minority backgrounds.

Speaking in October last year, Ms. Dorries said: “North West, North East, Yorkshire, if you have a regional accent at the BBC, it doesn’t fit particularly well.

“They talk about a lot of things that have to do with diversity, but they don’t talk about working-class kids.”

The BBC has announced plans to grow its apprenticeship scheme, pledging to bring 1,000 apprentices to the company by 2025.

The corporation announced its intention to increase its socioeconomic diversity in February 2021, following comments from Nadine Dorries, but had not yet revealed specific details of its plan.

In an open appearance at last year’s Conservative conference, the culture secretary condemned what she called “groupthink” on the BBC.

In its recent annual plan announcement, the BBC said its priorities for the next 12 months will include: strengthening impartiality; creating distinctive, high-impact content, transforming the BBC’s digital offerings and capabilities, accelerating commercial and global growth, implementing reform, reaching out to audiences across the UK and managing the impact of the first year of the new license fee.

Richard Sharp, Chairman of the BBC, said: “Our plan highlights the challenges and opportunities in the media market.

“We will continue to drive changes in our public service and business operations to do our duty.”

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