‘Climb Jobs Fair’ for South Birmingham


Next Friday, the 21st of February, I’m very proud that I will be hosting a major jobs fair for South Birmingham at Bournville College in Longbridge.

Unemployment and lack of opportunity are major problems in the South West Birmingham area, as they are in the city as a whole. Birmingham has an unemployment rate double the national average. This problem is especially bad for young people. Five years ago, in my constituency there were only 20 people aged 16-24 who had been out of work for more than a year. That figure now stands at 240. Long-term youth unemployment is robbing our community of aspiration and prosperity.

This Government’s austerity programme has hit the vulnerable the hardest. They certainly haven’t provided the meaningful growth or investment to meet our area’s specific challenges – there are great opportunities in our area, but we continue to lack the quality, long-term jobs that the community deserves.

That’s why I launched The Climb Project. This area has great potential – South Birmingham has a hugely proud manufacturing heritage, and the new £1 billion Longbridge development and exciting community projects are just the beginning of our economic revival. It’s crucial that we make the most of these assets.

The Climb Project has brought together local business and the community in networking, advocacy and new projects for jobs and growth. I’m very excited that the ‘Climb Vision’ has led to a major new jobs fair for our area. The jobs fair, which takes place at Bournville College, aims to give people the chance to discover and apply for new employment, training and Apprenticeship opportunities – it will unite employers and jobseekers from different areas in the region.

Over 40 employers from across the city will be exhibiting on the day, including local firms involved in the Climb Project such as MG Motor, ADI Total Engineered Solutions and Mechatronic Solutions. Advice, guidance and workshops on employment and skills will also be available, including from the National Careers Service.

I know that finding a job after a long period out of work, or having never had a job, can be a very daunting prospect. This fair is designed to make it as easy as possible – and absolutely anyone is welcome. I hope that local people will be able to attend and see the fantastic opportunities that are available here.

This is a great step forward for South West Birmingham’s Climb to the future.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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You can reach me by email at richard@richardburden.com or use the form on the Contact page to send me a message.