, ,

Darren visits GKN workers at Western Approach

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones visited GKN Aerospace and met with union reps and staff at the company’s Western Approach depot near Avonmouth on February 15th.

GKN is a UK engineering firm with 6,000 UK employees across 14 sites. Two of these locations are in North Bristol and employ upwards of 2,000 people. And as a major supply chain business to other advanced manufacturing companies in the aerospace industry (such as Airbus), GKN plays a vital role in one of our most important industries in the UK and, in the South West, as its number one sectoral employer. The Western Approach site is the home of the A350 and A400M Wing Spars.

Darren was especially keen to meet staff and union reps as Melrose has started a hostile takeover bid of GKN. Melrose has the stated aim of taking over, turning around and then selling off companies in a short amount of time. This hostile takeover bid has been unanimously rejected by the GKN board and by Unite the Union on behalf of the workforce. Darren has written to Business Secretary, Greg Clarke, to ask the government to intervene on ground of national interest and security.

You can find out more about the hostile takeover bid and how to show your support for workers here.

Pictured below, with Darren, is Western Approach Process Team Leader Jason Gabriel. Jason followed in his father’s footsteps by working at GKN. Jason started at the Filton site as a temp and obtained a permanent job whilst undertaking further training as a skilled fitter, he has since progressed to Team Leader.

Darren said:

“ I found the visit extremely useful and am proud to be backing the workforce at GKN. I was particularly pleased to meet Jason, and his colleagues, and see first-hand the development opportunities available to local people through employment at GKN. The staff and unions are fighting to protect a proud part of Bristol’s heritage, thousands of jobs and the potentially devastating impact on the local supply chain. I stand shoulder to shoulder with them and will continue to support and champion their cause”

 

 

 

 

, ,

Darren visits Honda to discuss Brexit and Skills

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones visited Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd site in Swindon on Thursday 15 February 2018 as part of the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship. This visit is part of an educational programme furthering his knowledge on technology, innovation and skills.

Darren Jones MP was able to gain insight the opportunities and challenges Honda faces in Europe given the current economic and political climate. The visit also enabled him to gain a better understanding of the employment and skills challenges with manufacturers both foreign based in the UK and UK based exporters, which supports his role as a member of the Science and Technology Select Committee.

The Swindon plant is Honda’s flagship production facility in Europe, currently employing a workforce of around 4,000 and in 2017 took on 600 new people as a result of a recent £200mn investment. The visit highlighted why Swindon was chosen as the location for their UK site as well as providing insight into Honda UK’s second apprenticeship programme; the Toolmaking Trailblazer Apprenticeship programme which develops Tool and Die Maintenance Technicians that are responsible for maintaining the specialist tooling that is in use throughout our site.

During the visit, Darren met with Patrick Keating, European Public Affairs Manager, who talked about the history of Honda and the day-to-day operations at the factory. Darren was also given a tour of the fully integrated car manufacturing facility – from casting and engine assembly through to welding and final assembly.

Darren said:

“I found the visit extremely useful. It really helped my understanding of the challenges and opportunities Honda face and I was very grateful for everyone giving up their time. The factory is an excellent site and you can really see how recent investment has boosted the operations here. I would like to thank the IPT for organising this visit and look forward to my other visits.”

Louise Hanson, Business Operations Division manager, Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd added:

Our Swindon factory is a key part of Honda’s highly integrated European regional operations. We were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss our business and the future of Honda of the UK Manufacturing with Darren Jones. It is also great to support the work the Industry and Parliament Trust does in order to bridge the gap between industry and Parliament.”

 

 

 

, , , ,

Darren backs ‘The Year of Engineering’

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has pledged his support to a national campaign to get more young people (and those from a diverse range of backgrounds) into engineering, in an effort to tackle a major skills gap.

The Year of Engineering, which launched on Monday 15th January, will see government work with hundreds of industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged 7-16, their parents and their teachers. This will include offering at least a million direct experiences of engineering to young people from all backgrounds – from behind the scenes tours and family days out, to school visits and the chance to meet engineering role models.

Darren Jones MP said:

” The UK faces an estimated shortfall of 20,000 engineering graduates a year, with half of companies in the sector saying the shortage is having a significant impact on productivity and growth. By bringing young people from all backgrounds face to face with engineering experiences and role models, the campaign aims to showcase the creativity and innovation of engineering careers and widen the pool of young people who consider the profession, diversifying a workforce that is currently 91% male and 94% white! I am pleased to support any campaign that encourages young people in my constituency to aim high and fulfil their potential”.

 

,

Darren asks government about sexism

Darren asked whether the Secretary of State for International Development would support the charity Theirworld and their campaign on attitudes and behaviours around women in school and education.

Darren asked

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to support the charity Theirworld’s #RewritingTheCode campaign on attitudes and behaviours that prevent girls and women from succeeding and leading.

Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, replied:

We welcome any action that supports girls and women to succeed and lead and therefore applaud TheirWorld’s campaign. DFID is committed to challenging and changing the negative attitudes and discriminatory practices that hold women and girls back throughout their lives. UKaid funded programmes have secured pledges from more than 8 million people to abandon female genital mutilation and have reached over 750,000 girls at risk of child marriage. UKaid also supports women and girls to achieve their full potential through education, supporting more than 5.3 million girls in school and helping over 36 million women access financial services.

It is perhaps disappointing that the government refused to go as far as stating support of the campaign.

, ,

Gender Pay Gap

Darren Jones MP names and shames Bristol employers who pay men more than women.

In January 2018, the Government published information about the gender pay gap: the difference that men are paid to women.

Labour passed the Equalities Act in Government which made it clear: men and women should get equal pay for equal work. Yet many organisations are failing to do that, with conscious or unconscious bias in appointments, promotions and pay between men and women. This is unacceptable and must stop.

Today, Darren Jones MP has written to organisations on the list of published offenders that employ people in Bristol to call them out, and ask what they’re doing to fix the problem. This is part of wider work being done by Darren to eradicate modern slavery and unethical work from Bristol. The  list includes prominent Bristol employers such as the BBC, day nursery Mama Bears, Rolls Royce and Wessex Bus.

Darren said:

There is no excuse for employers who pay men more than women for the same work. And to respond saying that women aren’t in senior positions misses the point entirely. For whatever reason, women continue to get paid less than men for doing exactly the same job. It’s time to call that out publically and I encourage women to raise it with their employers, and to ask what is being done to fix the problem. They have my full support in doing so.

Here is the list of organisations thought to employ people in Bristol, who pay men more than women:

  • Accenture (16.7% gap)
  • Arup (17.4% gap)
  • Baker Tilly (14.8% gap)
  • BBC (10.7% gap)
  • BDO (18.3% gap)
  • Capgemini (19.4% gap)
  • Clydesdale Bank (37% gap)
  • CMS Cameron McKenna (17.3% gap)
  • Coral Racing (14% gap)
  • Crown Prosecution Services / CPS (10.6% gap)
  • Deloitte (17% gap)
  • Ernst and Young (19.7% gap)
  • Europa Worldwide Logistics (19% gap)
  • First Wessex (15.1% gap)
  • Fujitsu (16.7% gap)
  • Hayley Group (18.6% gap)
  • HSE (22.9% gap)
  • Ladbrokes (15% gap)
  • Land Registry (33.3% gap)
  • Mama Bears (27.5% gap)
  • Ministry of Defence (12.5% gap)
  • NHS Digital (16.1% gap)
  • Rolls-Royce (6.3-11.1% gap)
  • Shell UK (18-31.5% gap)
  • The Coop Bank (30.3% gap)
  • TSB Bank (31% gap)

This list is based on national figures, excludes a 10% +/- range (not that a pay gap of less than 10% is an excuse!) and where there are various subsidiaries a range has been included.

And here is the letter Darren has sent to each of them:

,

Listen to Darren on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour

On the 7th of January Darren appeared on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour. He spoke about Brexit, amongst other things. You can listen to the full episode below:

 

 

, ,

Darren supports workers rights

MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones has pledged his support to the Unpaid Work Trials (Prohibition) Bill being heard in Parliament in the New Year. This Private Members Bill will end the practise of exploitative, unpaid trial shifts, guarantee fair and proper pay for working hours completed and ensure that trial workers are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Darren Jones MP said:

” Those trialling a new job by undertaking a shift or two deserve to be paid for their time. It is unacceptable that some companies are using high numbers of trial shifts to get work completed without having to pay staff. This is another form of exploitation and an unethical practise – it must be stopped”.

 

 

, , , , ,

MP backs Small Business Saturday and visits Shirehampton Post Office

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones backed small businesses this weekend by taking part in the annual celebration of small, independent businesses by visiting Pickles and Poppets in Westbury-on- Trym.

Darren also visited Shirehampton Post Office in the run-up to the busy Christmas period. Darren met the team who have worked hard to ensure the Post Office  was back up and running as soon as possible after the previous office was significantly damaged following an attack on the building’s ATM machine.

As the post office team were making final preparations to make Christmas 2017 as easy as possible for their customers, Darren Jones MP was shown first-hand the wide range of services available for customers designed to take the stress out of the demanding festive season.

Darren said:

“I supported Small Business Saturday this weekend as these businesses, as well as our Post Offices, are the lifeblood of our communities. We need to support our family-run, independent and high street businesses, especially in the run-up to Christmas where there’s a temptation to shop online. To help you locate small businesses, the Small Business Saturday team have launched a new Apple and Android mobile app which has close to 30,000 small businesses listed all over the country. It is really easy to put in your location and find lots of small businesses near you to visit all year round”.

Following the visit to the Post Office Darren said:

“It was fantastic to meet the team and customers at Shirehampton Post Office, they provide such a valuable service to the local community. I am so impressed by their dedication and hard work and wish them every success during this busy period.”