Proud of young people

Gordon Birtwistle
Gordon Birtwistle

On Monday I went along to Sir John Thursby Community College to discuss their University Preparation Programme and many other fantastic things going on at the school.

They have received recognition by Future Leaders, a group of 1,000 secondary schools, and their GCSE success means that we have 0% NEET again. This means every child from last year is in employment, education or training and I can’t tell you how impressed and proud I was to see this school doing so well and providing so many opportunities for children in our town. My colleague, Danny Alexander, was fascinated to hear of their success when he visited earlier in the year, and this school benefits from many of the Liberal Democrat policies, namely as it is a school where 50% of pupils qualify for the Pupil Premium.

I was also delighted this week to have a lovely young lady from Blessed Trinity RC College shadowing me in my work as an MP. I always enjoy the opportunity to show young people the fantastic job I get to do and hope she enjoyed it and it was interesting in what is a very exciting political time across the country, and in Burnley too.

On Wednesday I went along to the college for their Get Enterprising Conference, which is a brand new event and aims to inspire young people to achieve in business. It showed that Burnley is a vibrant economic hub, full of potential and with some promising career and enterprise opportunities. We recently won most enterprising town in the country and, in my time as MP, I have secured much investment and feel very proud of our town’s success and growth. There were many students there who got to hear about the numerous local success stories that they can draw inspiration from and local role models to aspire to. Burnley College students are the entrepreneurs of the future and, following their education, I want them to return to Burnley and continue to strengthen and grow our economy. I thought the conference was fantastic and really engaged with the students, giving them up to date information in a professional format. I was most impressed.

I then went to St James’s School to be grilled by many of the young students who were asking me some fantastic questions. I am impressed by the thought and interest they take in my job and politics too.

On Wednesday there was a very important council meeting, where I proposed an amendment which stated that I believed the independent Salford Report demonstrated that we didn’t need a gypsy and travellers site. Unfortunately it was ruled out of order, unable to be put to the council for discussion. I am continuing to oppose this and many constituents have contacted me saying they believe that not having a gypsy travellers site is more important than following council procedure.

On Thursday I went to McDonald’s to meet their apprentices and staff. I was not aware that McDonald’s in Burnley employs 140 people and was able to see what a fantastic place it is to work. I had an overview of McDonald’s Crew Development Programme and of McDonald’s Apprenticeship Programme. I got to go behind the counter and see how all the food is prepared efficiently.

Friday was busy with constituent appointments and on Saturday I had my street advice stall. It was raining heavily so I was only able to do an hour but enjoyed the constituents I got to speak to.