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Jeremy Corbyn and Gloria at Van Elle.

Gloria and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visit Van Elle in Kirkby

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Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited engineering firm Van Elle to find out more about the challenges and opportunities the construction and manufacturing sectors are facing.

Gloria and Jeremy spoke to the bosses of the company at its Kirkby site about the work it has been undertaking on railways and road building projects and in housebuilding.

Van Elle chief executive Jon Fenton told the MPs that it can be difficult finding skilled workers to employ and that bureaucracy often makes work on larger projects more difficult.

However the one thing Mr Fenton said would help his company grow was ‘certainty and longevity in the market’.

Gloria and Jeremy Corbyn speak to bosses at Van Elle in Kirkby.
Gloria and Jeremy Corbyn speak to bosses at Van Elle in Kirkby.

Jeremy replied that if in power, Labour would make sure that large infrastructure projects like HS2 go ahead to bring much-needed stability.

The party would also ensure that good quality apprenticeships and training are available for both young people and older workers in order to fill any skills gaps.

Gloria and Jeremy spoke to some of Van Elle’s employees about their jobs and the wider industry.

They heard how it can be difficult to attract younger workers into construction and how immigration and losing manufacturing work overseas has driven down wages nationally.

Speaking afterwards, Gloria said: “It was very interesting to hear the workers’ points of view on construction and what needs to be done in this sector to boost our economy.

“Labour is committed to building more new homes, to building better railways and roads and to making sure our workers have the skills to do these jobs.

“I thank Van Elle for welcoming Jeremy and I to its site and for giving us a valuable insight into its work.”

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