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Opinion: More joined up thinking needed after Brexit

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 February 2018

MP Julia Lopez aims to focus on improving Havering's schools, helping local businesses and healthcare and community services.

MP Julia Lopez aims to focus on improving Havering's schools, helping local businesses and healthcare and community services.

Archant

As we leave the EU, we shall need our domestic workforce to be ever more dynamic, innovative and flexible – not just to maximise the opportunities from Brexit but to reduce our reliance on a vast overseas workforce.

Access to a pool of 500million EU workers has for too long allowed businesses and successive governments to benefit from cheap, skilled, hard-working employees without having to invest in our own UK skills base.

If we are now to fulfil our own industrial strategy and maximise opportunities for homegrown workers, we need to turbo-charge our approach to skills and get businesses, schools, colleges and government working together more.

I have been meeting with businesses and organisations to work out how best to make use of the talent we have here in Havering.

The team at our Jobcentre is doing a remarkable job in getting people into work - employment in the UK has hit a record high, while wage growth continues to pick up.

But one of the groups proving hardest to place in work is the over-50s, who need to be given the time and confidence to adapt to the changing workplace.

We also need to do more to train people for the jobs of the future in science, tech and engineering, helping people into higher wage roles.

Last Wednesday, I joined Havering College in highlighting their innovative Railway Academy on Harold Hill to Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling. I have also visited Coopers’ Company and Coborn School to talk about make Havering a hub for science, maths and technology by connecting schools to the academic and business communities.

These are the kinds of joined-up skills approaches we shall need to see more of as we leave the EU, and I shall be supporting local people every step of the way.

Julia Lopez

More joined up thinking needed after Brexit

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