Summer school success

John Mann

John Mann

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This week 40 young people from our local schools have spent the week in London with me.

On Sunday they discovered the sites of London through a team building exercise, started the previous Friday with a visit to West Burton power station.

On Monday the Speaker of Parliament welcomed them into his palatial Speakers House, the most prestigious rooms in Parliament and our young people did you proud by questioning the Speaker on a whole host of issues.

They visited the Saudi Arabian Embassy and were somewhat taken aback over the opulence of the interior, but given a very friendly and informative welcome and foods that were certainly new to many of them.

They went to BBC Television Centre, sadly not while I was appearing on Newsnight with Jeremy Paxman, but saw how things work with BBC presenter, Mark Easton and found out how to get a career in the media. They received similar advice from top Daily Mirror reporter, James Lyons.

Following a full day in the dreamy spires of Cambridge, including a gala dinner, where in Dragons Den style they had to present their projects, our young people finished with a full day in the City of London, from the Top of the Shard building, to the basement of the Bank of England and the glitzy law offices of Clifford Chance in Canary Wharf, they saw where the real money in this country is, met the people earning it and had the opportunity to see and question inside their world.

By today I can guarantee that there will be 40 exhausted young people begging for an early night and five zombie teachers resting up their sore feet and brains.

This is my seventh Summer School and is a unique opportunity for our young people.

No other MP even holds a day like this, never mind a week of activities.

In reality it is my staff that do the hard slog for many months preparing the way, with great support from major businesses such as the train company, Hull Trains, EDF Energy and the Coventry Building Society. Other companies are welcome to get involved, as this also provides practical training for their staff.

Part of my job is about opening doors for our young people, and wherever there are barriers for them, I intend to keep knocking them down.

For too long, people born into certain families and going to particular schools in the South of England have had all the openings and all the opportunities.

They presume that these doors will open for them and they already know and are even related to those already inside.

Our young people are quite capable of fighting their way into any job, anywhere and I want to help them do it.

I am pretty passionate about opportunities for our young people, I am also passionate about not selling off the family silver.

This week it is the Royal Mail that is to be flogged off. If this happens, I predict that there will not be a universal postal service by 2020 and that some of us will have a very third class service.

There are far fewer letters and postcards being sent these days, but far more packets and parcels. Internet shopping will dramatically increase in the future and we need a public Royal Mail with a universal postal service to meet that demand.

The alternative, as proposed by Mr Vince Cable, Government Minister, is to sell it on the cheap, probably to the Germans. No thank you.