Ian Lavery column: State-of-the-art unit at Wansbeck is something to celebrate
It has been extremely busy in the constituency with a range of meetings with local organisations, businesses and constituents.
I spent the best of five hours visiting the Wansbeck General Hospital. During my visit I had the opportunity to meet and discuss a number of issues with patients, staff, members of the executive management team and representatives of the trades unions at the hospital, which included Unison and the Royal College of Midwives.
While at the hospital I had the pleasure of officially opening the new Aseptic Unit, which is a new state-of-the-art sterile environment, where pharmacy staff can prepare chemotherapy drugs and support the preparation of intravenous drugs.
This new unit has created six new jobs and will support the rise in the number of patients needing cancer treatment.
I support Labour's plan to increase the number of apprenticeships in the UK, which was unveiled by John Denham MP, Labour's shadow business secretary.
Under Labour's proposals any company wanting to provide goods to the public sector should be required to have an apprenticeship scheme before they can win a contract.
The Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government has dropped Labour's guarantee of an apprenticeship place to young people who want one and has failed to expand apprenticeship places for school and college leavers.
But Labour's job for contracts scheme would give immediate help to many of the unemployed under-25s.
With one in five young people out of work, young people need every chance to improve the skills they need to get good jobs. Surely we cannot allow our young people's talents to go to waste.
It's time for the coalition government to listen and take action and not leave our next generation behind.
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