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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”.

 

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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.

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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:

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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:

 

 

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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”.

 

 

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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.”

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MP backs Universal Credit Reform Ahead of Budget

Bristol North West MP, Darren Jones is encouraging the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, to make changes to Universal Credit in advance of tomorrow’s budget (22nd November).

Darren said:

“Universal Credit, as it stands, is a cruel and shambolic system forcing many into debt – it is coming to Bristol North West next year. The Child Poverty Action Group have advised in their new report ‘The Austerity Generation’ that working families stand to lose £930 a year on average from cuts in the tax credit system and £420 a year from cuts to Universal Credit – these are losses across the population, so the losses for tax credit and UC recipients would be much higher.

Families containing someone with a disability will be £300 a year worse off due to Universal Credit cuts; families containing someone with a severe disability will be £530 a year worse off.

I fully support the changes my colleague Debbie Abrahams has urged the Chancellor to adopt ahead of tomorrow’s budget. Austerity politics needs to get real before the country is unable to recover from the sustained impact on our most vulnerable”.

Amongst the changes backed by Darren include a significant reduction in the waiting period before claimants are awarded benefit, reconsideration of the payment of fortnightly benefits (rather than monthly), easier housing payments direct to landlords and  income level measurement for the self-employed.

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Darren speaks to LabourTube about Brexit, the NHS, how Labour can win back the working class and tech issues

Watch the full interview here: