*Published in the Barking and Dagenham Post 06.10.21

Last week was Labour Party conference and some of the central themes were work, fairness, and security – making Britain the best place to grow up and the best place to grow old in. This is an important message for areas like my constituency of Dagenham and Rainham, where in Barking and Dagenham we have one of the youngest populations in London, and in Havering we have the oldest.

This week the Joseph Rowntree Foundation published constituency level data which highlighted the devastating impact of the government's planned £20 cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.

Royal Mail and the CWU have announced that they will work together to deliver postal apprenticeships for ages 16-17. Recruitment will be in line with the principles set out in the joint statement and most likely in medium and large Delivery Offices which are able to provide the right level of coaching and learning for individuals.

This week is #HeartUnions week (8-14 Feb), a time to recognise the enormous contribution of trade unions in the fight for workers' rights. Trade unions work throughout the year to support their members across services; ensuring fair pay, protecting terms and conditions, promoting equality and ultimately improving working life for millions of people across the United Kingdom.

New analysis by the Labour Party estimates that 8,710 people were still furloughed by their employer in late January across Dagenham and Rainham. And seven months on from the Chancellor's ‘Plan for Jobs', 6,585 people are claiming out of work benefits in the constituency.

The Chancellor initially triggered a one-size-fits-all wind down of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in his Plan for Jobs last July. After several last-minute changes over the autumn and winter, the scheme is now set to expire at the end of April.

The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in October 2020 was 6,330. This represents a rate of 9.1% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.3%.

There are 3,595 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began and 115 less claimants than September 2020.

The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in July 2020 was 6,445. This represents a rate of 9.2% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.3%.

There are 3,710 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began and 345 more claimants than June 2020.

The number of unemployed claimants in Dagenham and Rainham constituency in June 2020 was 6,215. This represents a rate of 8.9% of the economically active population aged 16 to 64. The equivalent UK claimant rate was 6.3%.

There are 3,480 more claimants than in March 2020 before the UK lockdown began, but 105 less than in May 2020.

This week Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham has joined a broad coalition of parliamentarians, businesses, investors, and civil society organisations to raise their concerns about unethical labour practices in the garment factories across the UK. The campaign, which is headed by Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Chair of the APPG for Textiles and Fashion, calls on the Government to take urgent action to implement a ‘Fit to Trade' licensing scheme that will ensure garment factories meet their legal obligations to employees.

This week the Principle and CEO of Barking and Dagenham College contacted Jon Cruddas MP with details of the economic recovery plan laid out by the Association of Colleges (AoC). The plan is called REBUILD: A skills led recovery and it sets out a clear directive to support workers and students, providing new opportunities to create employment and learning infrastructure.

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