I’m Barry Sheerman and I am proud to be the Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Huddersfield. I work hard for Huddersfield – but there is always more that can be achieved. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats do not have a vision for how to give this country the best future possible.
Across Huddersfield – in Deighton, Fartown, Almondbury, Dalton, Birkby, Paddock – we know what we need – we need investment in our community to create jobs and opportunities for everyone.
My wife Pam and I have raised our children in the constituency – and they still visit us regularly with their children, too! Having children and now grandchildren makes me feel even more acutely the need to give them the very best future possible.
Increasingly, there is a need to remind people that there have been many waves of immigration to this country that have been of great benefit – my own family would not have survived religious persecution in France 200 years ago – Britain offered a safe haven for them then, and remains a haven for many people persecuted today for their religious beliefs, their sexuality or their political convictions.
Britain is an inclusive, welcoming place at its very best – but we must work together to keep it that way. Huddersfield is home to many minority groups that have suffered oppression across the world and I will continue to fight for people’s rights at home and abroad.
During my time in Parliament I have been Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Education and Skills from 2001 – 2007, and Chair of the Children, Schools and Families Committee from 2007-2010. I am passionate about education and the rights of children and young people. I also chair the Skills Commission which has recently led a series of major inquiries on the skills needs of the next generation.
I look back proudly on the achievements that Labour delivered in Government – from Building Schools for the Future to the creation of Sure Start Centres; however, we cannot rely on past success. We have to move forward. I believe we need to focus on creating the jobs of the future and ensuring that our young people have the skills to do these jobs and progress in their careers.
I know that young people want to work so they can move into a home for themselves and start a family. We need to help to get them into highly skilled, high paid work so that they can.
- 2001-2007 Chair, House of Commons Education & Skills Select Committee
- 2007-2010 Chair, House of Commons Children, Schools & Families Committee
- 2010 onward Chair, Skills Commission
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