Backing apprenticeships

It was a real pleasure to present the annual awards to NITAL apprentices, employers and mentors recently at an event at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Good quality apprenticeships are key to giving young people a strong start in their working lives and to making sure that businesses across Corby and East Northants have a skilled workforce. I will strongly support more apprenticeships and I am pleased that Labour has pledged to devolve skills funding to local areas to invest in quality apprenticeships.
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Time for national inquiry on child abuse

There is currently a social media campaign calling for a national inquiry into child abuse. My view is that the time is right for a properly structured inquiry that draws together fragmented investigations into institutions throughout the country. The scale of Jimmy Savile’s abuse should be a wake-up call to everyone. The Home Secretary should step in and establish an overarching inquiry led by child protection experts so we can make sure vulnerable young people are listened to and better protected from these horrible crimes.


Supporting children with autism

This week I was joined in Parliament by local parents Lucie Middleton and Jan Mears and together we attended the launch of a report about the number of children with autism being wrongly excluded from school. I was pleases to sign the Ambitious about Autism pledge to work to improve education for young people with autism. Lucie and Jan are leading the Green Horizons project locally which aims to provide their children with a safe place where they can develop their agricultural skills and have a nurturing, therapeutic environment in which they can also develop their social skills.

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Corby Army Reserves visit

I recently visited the Corby Army Reserves Centre. Reservists have a very important role alongside our regular forces in conflict, peace keeping and humanitarian work. The man briefing me in the picture is WO2 Simons of 118 Rec Company who trains Corby reservists. He won a medal for recovering a tank from a battlefield working under fire for 9 hours. I asked the reservists and regulars that I met to keep in touch with me and let me know if there is any way I can support them.

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Campaigning against rising cost of rail fares

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This morning I am joining local campaigners and Lilian Greenwood, Labour MP for Nottingham South and Shadow Rail Minister, at Corby rail station to highlight the rising cost of rail fares and the Government’s failure to protect commuters from inflation busting rises.

The cost of a off-peak return ticket from Corby to London rose to £46.50 last week, and increase of 4.5% which is much higher than the national average.  The cost of a season ticket to London is now £7,400.

Labour opened the railway station at Corby and lots of people use it but it is becoming more and more expensive. I have also been contacted by local people about the costly car park fees.

Rail fares have risen 20% under this Government. David Cameron is doing nothing to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and has delivered three years of inflation busting fare rises. Labour wants to put passengers first by enforcing a strict cap on rail fares and we would give commuters a clear legal right to the cheapest ticket.It is also completely unacceptable that passengers have had to wait until two days before Christmas to find out how much their season tickets will cost in the New Year.  People need timely information so that they can budget effectively.

I will be raising these issues with the Government.


Experience Corby update

Experience Corby – Invitation to Work Placement Matching Event
Friday, 27th September 2013 at 9.00am to 11.00am
Venue: Tresham College, Oakley Road, Corby NN17 1NE

Many young people who are struggling to find work in Corby have told me about the difficulties they face. Employers want people with experience and if you don’t know the right people and aren’t well connected it’s hard to know where to turn – I know how disheartening this must feel. I want to help young people make those connections and, working with Tresham College, I have approached some local employers and asked them to offer some work experience in their companies. The response has been fantastic and there is a wide range of Corby businesses taking part.

Each of these companies has said that it is willing to help young people in the town by providing them with a first step on the road to a fulfilling career through a work experience placement. The basics of the scheme are as follows:
* These placements will be available to young people between 18 – 24 years of age, unemployed and living locally
* They will last for between 1 and 4 weeks, depending on the company and take place during October 2013
* They are unpaid but they give both the company and the young person the chance to see if there is a good match between them and any longer term employment and training opportunities available within the business. The placements also add some valuable experience to the young person’s CV
* Both the young person and the placement providers choose each other through the Matching Event scheduled to be held at Tresham College on 27th September.

At the Matching Event, young people will be able to meet the employers, chat about their company and what the work experience placement will involve. If there is a match, then, hopefully, a start date can be agreed on the day. I want everyone who successfully completes their work experience placement to be invited to Parliament to celebrate their achievements and they will receive a certificate and references to show future employers.

I will be at Tresham on the 27th and I look forward to a great morning.


Help and advice surgeries in June

Andy at a surgery in Raunds library

Andy at a surgery in Raunds library

I will be hosting three drop-in surgeries across Corby and East Northamptonshire on Friday 14th June.

These are an opportunity for me to meet you and learn of issues of particular concern to you.

The times and locations are as follows:

10.00 – 11.00 – Irthlingborough Children’s Centre, Scarborough Street, Irthlingborough, NN9 5TT

11.30 – 12.30 – Raunds Library, High Street, Raunds, NN9 6HT

14.00 – 16.00 – Corby Volunteer Bureau, Elizabeth Street, NN17 1PN