JILL MORTIMER: Passionate about supporting young people into high-skilled well-paid careers

I would like to begin my first column of 2022 by wishing all of you here in Hartlepool a very Happy New Year – may it be one of prosperity, success, and good health for all!

I understand how hard Christmas can be for some, and I know that again this may have been made worse by the pandemic – we suffered a family bereavement this year and I am thinking of all those who have lost loved ones throughout the pandemic, particularly those who like us, could not see their loved ones in their final days. I am keen to see hospital services running as optimally as possible – and an end to restrictions as soon as is possible, moving forward.

As the Prime Minister has stated, the pandemic is still very much ongoing, however I am sure you would agree it is positive news that data on the Omicron variant seems to suggest it is less severe than other strains of the virus. Nevertheless, it is as important as ever that we all continue to get the booster vaccination.

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With the New Year comes new aims, ambitions, and goals for all – this is very much the case for me as your Member of Parliament, and I am eager to get the ball rolling on a range of projects and campaigns. You may already be aware, but I have recently been elected as the new chair of the APPG on Maternity – I will be working closely with MPs as well as representatives from the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians to improve the quality of maternity services nationally – something which I know is of significant importance to people here in Hartlepool.

As well as my role in Westminster I also have plans underway for both a Jobs fair and an Apprenticeships fair, to take place in 2022. I am passionate about supporting our younger generations into high-skilled well-paid careers, and I am extremely excited about the prospect of bringing local individuals, businesses, and educational providers together – providing an environment for people to come and explore a wide variety of potential career paths and learning opportunities.

As always, if you require my assistance or advice with an issue, or would like to book into one of my surgeries, please do not hesitate to make contact – [email protected]