Stockton South Conservative MP Matt Vickers writes for The Northern Echo.
Recently I visited Job Centres in Thornaby and Stockton to hear about the work they’re doing to help people find good local jobs. What a team they are, working not only to help people to find a job vacancy but also the skills, knowledge and confidence to help them secure a new job.
The enthusiasm and commitment of the people working there is something to behold and the variety of innovative support and training is incredible.
I also recently had the pleasure of visiting an independent training provider at Preston Farm who was delivering training to unemployed people, teaching them how to install and repair fibre optic cabling: a great skillset with the likelihood of a great well paid job at the end.
We’re extremely fortunate to have such a facility on our doorstep - great opportunity for anyone who fancies trying something new.
I’ve done some jobs in my time: stacking shelves, pulling pints, laying bricks - the job centre is now able to support people in getting into all sorts of jobs. I’m hoping I won’t find myself there at the end of my term in Parliament but if I do I’m confident they could find me something.
As well as myself, there are many people who’ve recently gained new jobs - records show that across the UK there are now more people in work than ever. Wages continue to rise, average wages rose 3.4 per cent in the last 12 months alone. and a boost in the living wage is set for April.
On Teesside we’re braced to create even more great jobs with the purchase of the former SSI site and the potential to create 20,000 new roles in the next 20 years.
Moreover with Teesside Airport back on the up, with new flights to vital UK destinations and investment coming into our local railway stations and roads we’re getting connected and becoming an even better place to do business and create jobs.
The key to Teesside’s success is its ambition and hunger, great workers with great skills. An end to those who talk Teesside down, we’re now ambitious for our area.