Blackpool MP returns to skills minister role

MP Gordon Marsden talks to young people at a jobs fair at Bloomfield Road
MP Gordon Marsden talks to young people at a jobs fair at Bloomfield Road
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Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden has been given a key role in the Labour regime under new leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He has become Shadow Minister for Further Education and Skills with responsibility for Universities as well.

The role will fall under both the Shadow Business and Education teams, with Gordon set to work alongside both Angela Eagle and Lucy Powell in also their new positions as Shadow Secretary of States.

Gordon said: “I am very pleased to be returning to cover skills issues as a Shadow Minister at a critical time for Further Education.

“I know from my previous time as Shadow Skills Minister, my long experience with Blackpool small businesses and as the local MP, just how crucial skills are.

“Not just for young people trying to get a decent job in the service or manufacturing sectors but also for older workers wanting and needing to re-skill. Those will be crucial parts of my new portfolio, where Blackpool’s needs and relevance will be central to what I think and do.”

He has organised two jobs and skills fairs in Blackpool in the past two years at Blackpool Football Club with more than 50 exhibitors which had support from many groups including Blackpool Fylde and Wyre CVS, Blackpool Connexions,Job Centre Plus and URPotential.

“I am looking forward to having in-depth conversations across the sector about people’s concerns on how government ministers are handling the funding crisis and about the continuing lack of comprehensive joined-up thinking across DfE and BIS.

“Instead of an obsession with micromanagement of process, FE and Skills needs to see focus on progression and a strategy to inspire and energise both teenage and older learners and those in training right across the sector.”

Mr Marsden was previously Shadow Minister for Skills from 2010 to 2013 before moving onto Labour’s Transport team

Prior to becoming an MP, he edited the History Today magazine for 12 years and was an Open University tutor.