Apprenticeships to the fore

Monday began with a series of meetings. I met with Mondelez the chocolate owners to talk about their apprentices and what they do as a company.

Sunday, 26th October 2014, 6:00 am
I am proud of seeing how many people use apprentices to turn their lives around.

I was impressed to hear how many of their jobs are high tech and that apprentices are key to keeping their industry going. I was delighted to accept an invitation to go to their factory in Birmingham and look forward to sampling some chocolate.

I then met with Aon, who is an advisor to firms in the areas of insurance, health and retirement.

They have offices throughout the country and employ over 10,000 people in the UK. Aon also moved its HQ to London in 2012 to be closer to Lloyds of London and the international insurance market, following this move we have also sought to be an active and engaged UK corporate citizen.

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I was very interested and delighted to hear they have launched the insurance sector’s first ever industry-wide apprenticeship collaboration to deliver apprentices that will enable our sector to retain its pre-eminent global position for many years to come. The next phase of this exciting initiative is a series of regional events for apprenticeships, young people and businesses to network.

On Tuesday I met with some individual’s from the Royal College of Midwives. I listened to their concerns and frustrations over not getting a pay rise and I completely sympathise with them.

I then hosted and talked at a GTA England event in Parliament. I was delighted to see so many individuals who had come so far and achieved so much.

I am proud of seeing how many people use apprentices to turn their lives around.

I was then straight onto another apprenticeship focussed event hosted by City and Guilds. Every nation is trying to tackle the scourge of youth unemployment. The challenge for many countries is to implement high quality delivery models that result in strong systems of technical and vocational training. INSSO, in partnership with City & Guilds, has launched World Class Apprenticeships: a campaign involving ground breaking reports, study tours and special events.

It was great to see so many organisations at this event.

Apprenticeships are a key part of helping to reduce unemployment and I can’t explain how incredible it is that we are now down to 3.9% in our own town. The number of people out of work in Burnley has fallen showing the economic recovery is taking hold, new figures reveal. Across Britain unemployment dropped 538,000 in the past year - the largest annual fall on record.These figures are most welcome. The town is booming thanks to our strong manufacturing sector and boom in local jobs.

The strong labour market performance hasn’t happened by accident and I will continue to all I can to drive this figure down.

On Thursday I went to a launch of the New Democracy Project at Burnley High School. I talked about politics and the role of Parliament and was delighted to hear about how they are over subscribed for next year.

The outcome of this project will be to have our Pupil Parliament elected. The result will be announced at the Founders’ Day Celebration.

On Friday I judged the Christmas Card competition at Burnley College and on Saturday I was delighted to go to Burnley Sea Cadets’ annual Trafalgar Mess Dinner which was also the Royal Marines 350th Anniversary.

It was a wonderful evening and much work had gone into organising it.


• Today 24th October 4-5pm Padiham Leisure Centre

• Friday 31st October 4-5pm Constituency Office, 23 St James Row.

• Gordon’s office is open to all callers without appointments 11am-3pm weekdays at 23 St James Row,Burnley, BB11 1EY.