Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner praises young Hartlepool people during college visit

The deputy leader of the Labour Party has praised young people in Hartlepool as an “absolute credit” to the area and stressed the importance of providing skilled employment opportunities in the town.

MP Angela Rayner joined Labour by-election candidate Dr Paul Williams in visiting students at Hartlepool College of Further Education on Monday, April 19.

Ms Rayner said she wanted to highlight how there have been 1,600 jobs lost in skilled trades in Hartlepool in recent years and hit out at Government “snobbery” towards such roles.

She said: “One of the things about communities like here in Hartlepool is we want our kids to be able to stay in Hartlepool with good jobs.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, third right, and Dr Paul Williams, far right, who is the party's Parliamentary candidate in the Hartlepool by-election, chat to staff at Hartlepool College of Further Education.

“The lack of skilled jobs has meant that kids don’t have those opportunities and it’s really important we invest in manufacturing jobs in Hartlepool.”

Dr Williams said, if elected, his plans to tackle the issue include creating a town business advisory board and working with the Government to bring as many jobs as possible to the area.

He said he also wants to work with schools and colleges locally to set up an annual jobs fair.

He added: “The number of apprenticeships has halved over the last five years and I want young people from Hartlepool to have the opportunity to get an apprenticeship in Hartlepool.”

Hartlepool goes to the polls to elect a new MP on May 6.

Ms Rayner said it was “absolutely fantastic” to see the facilities on offer and added: “The young people here in Hartlepool and across the whole of the area are an absolute credit, you can see that, you can see the passion, you can see the grit and the determination to do well.

“We really love the area and we want to see good jobs coming here.

“How many times has the working class been told you can have it tomorrow and then tomorrow doesn’t come? well tomorrow is today now.”

Dr Williams, one of 16 candidates in the by-election on Thursday, May 6, added there needs to be companies in Hartlepool to be able to offer jobs and apprenticeships and called on the Government to back the town’s Liberty Steel plant.

He said: “There are more than 200 people that work at Liberty, it’s the last part of the steel industry that’s still here and we should do whatever it takes to protect those jobs.”

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