John Spellar MP

Member of Parliament for Warley

Latest News

Sandwell MP John Spellar is supporting the launch of a new campaign by Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) aiming to break down the barriers that people with a hearing loss face when trying to find employment.

 

The charity has launched their new employment report, Working for change, improving attitudes to hearing loss in the workplace, which urges businesses and Government to work closer together to help people with a hearing loss to find and stay in work. Currently there are 11 million people in the UK having hearing loss with almost five million who are of working age, the number, which set to rise considerably in the near future.

John Spellar MP said: ‘It’s been great to support Action on Hearing Loss’ campaign to help people who are deaf or have hearing loss to have equality in finding work and I would urge all businesses and organisations in Sandwell to use the charity’s myth-busting report which will really assist in guiding and sign-posting them to the support that is available to help them in employing people with disabilities.’

Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss Chief Executive, said: ‘We are delighted that John Spellar MP is backing the launch of our Working for Change report which will help businesses to support people with hearing loss to maximise their valuable skills as it makes no sense that people have to retire or give up work due to their hearing loss owing to an unsupportive working environment. This is costly to employers as they lose highly-skilled staff and will need to spend to recruit again.’

 
The reports Working for change, improving attitudes to hearing loss in the workplace and Working for change, and increasing confidence in employing people with hearing loss are available to download via https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/supporting-you/policy-research-and-influencing/research/working-for-change.aspx

John Spellar MP supports launch of employment report to help people with hearing loss into

Sandwell MP John Spellar is supporting the launch of a new campaign by Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) aiming to break down the barriers that people with a hearing...

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Arthritis is the number one cause of pain, disability and working days lost, according to Arthritis Research UK, which highlighted the issue to John Spellar MP at a recent parliamentary briefing. Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions like back pain affect one in six of us.

Musculoskeletal conditions cause pain, stiffness and fatigue that can make every day work tasks such as sitting, standing, walking, lifting, and typing difficult. They are the leading cause of workplace absence in the UK, causing 32.4 million sick days each year.

Only 60% of working age people with a musculoskeletal condition are in work, compared to 80% among those without a health condition or a disability. This ‘arthritis work gap’ means that 600,000 people with arthritis are currently missing out on the opportunity to work.

Now, following the Government’s Improving Lives consultation on employment support for disabled people, John Spellar is calling on the Government to ensure that people with arthritis have the support to stay at work for longer:

“It’s clear how enormous the impact of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions is on our local communities. Over 50,000 residents are living with back pain, a leading cause of sickness absence, in Sandwell right now – 16% of local people.

“The ability to work is something that we often take for granted, but I’ve learnt today that for those living with arthritis this can be difficult. But with the right support and flexibility many people are able to work.’

“That’s why I’m supporting Arthritis Research UK’s ‘Work Matters to Me’ campaign, putting this vital issue on the map. The Government must ensure that there is a level playing field so that people with arthritis who are able to work have the right support to remain and return to work.”

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive officer at Arthritis Research UK, said:

“I’m delighted that John Spellar MP is supporting our campaign to give people with arthritis the freedom from their condition in employment, enabling them to live their lives to the full.

“The current situation for people living with the daily pain of arthritis is untenable. Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain are the number one cause for workplace sickness absence in the UK.

“Our retirement age has increased and we’re an ageing working population, so even more people are going to be living with the pain and unpredictability of arthritis, and face an uncertain working future.

“But with the right kind of support and job; work can benefit your mental and physical health as well as your financial position.

“We need to see Government action to address the employment needs of people with long term conditions such as arthritis, so that they have the right support and opportunity to maintain their freedom and quality of life.”

People with Arthritis need more support to work, says John Spellar MP

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John Spellar MP has committed to taking action to address the literacy challenge in Sandwell, as new analysis from the National Literacy Trust and Experian reveals that the local depths of England’s literacy crisis is putting children’s futures in jeopardy [1].

 

The analysis shows that:

 

  • Warley is ranked 43 out of 533 constituencies in England, where 1 is most in need of literacy support

 

Experian analysed data on the social factors most closely associated with low literacy, including levels of education, income and unemployment, to create a literacy vulnerability score for every electoral ward and parliamentary constituency in England [2].

 

This brand new measure provides a new and deeper understanding about a long-standing problem, identifying the areas with the most acute literacy problems and pinpointing where the greatest support is required. It shows that the majority of constituencies in England (86%) contain at least one ward with serious literacy issues.

 

John Spellar MP attended a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Literacy on Monday 6 February, where the analysis was presented. The National Literacy Trust and Experian shared Warley’s literacy vulnerability score and the social factors underpinning it. John Spellar was given detailed information on the prevalence of factors that make people in Warley vulnerable to literacy issues, highlighting where action is most urgently needed. 

 

 

John Spellar MP said: “literacy is vital for people to be able to work and to become citizens. All agencies must redouble their efforts to overcome this blight.”

 

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said:  

“We welcome John Spellar’s commitment to addressing the specific literacy challenges facing children, families and individuals in Warley. For 20 years, the government has addressed England’s widening literacy gap through national strategies. We now know that a new local approach is needed as our work with Experian reveals the country’s literacy challenge to be intensely local. Strong local leadership and partnerships are vital to tackling this and MPs are ideally placed to drive effective local solutions.

 

“We know that local strategies work – we set up a National Literacy Trust Hub in Middlesbrough in 2013, which has already had a vital impact on the number of children reaching a good level of development at age five, and has significantly closed the attainment gap with the national average.”[3]

 

Richard Jenkings, Lead Analytics Consultant at Experian, said: 

“It doesn’t come as a surprise that levels of literacy are strongly related to households and the neighbourhood in which people live, with urban areas facing the biggest challenges. There is a clear correlation between literacy and income, levels of education, long-term unemployment rates, levels of motivation and depression, as well as with intergenerational needs and growing up in a family with no work culture.”

 

“However, what shocked me the most in the analysis was just how far reaching the problem of low literacy is in England – it’s on all of our doorsteps, regardless of location. Most regions have at least one area with severe literacy problems. We hope that by making sense of all this data, we have helped lay the foundations for others to transform lives and local communities for the better.”

John Spellar MP pledges to tackle literacy challenge in Sandwell

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Former Defence Minister John Spellar MP today sharply criticised the Government over its failure to meet its own targets on Army recruitment.

This follows revelations in the Daily Mail yesterday that only 6,910 people signed up in the past 12 months – despite a target of 9,850. 

A recruitment shortfall of nearly 3,000 troops or 30 per cent.

Mr Spellar said: “This Government cares little for the Armed Forces – and today’s figures are proof of this.”

“Since they came into office in 2010, the Conservatives have cut the size of the Regular Army by 20,000 and cannot now meet their own recruitment targets.

“Given the uncertain times we live in, and the increasing importance of NATO, the Government should look at increasing the size of the Army – today shows they are not taking our national security seriously.”

Sandwell MP slams Government over failing Army recruitment targets

Former Defence Minister John Spellar MP today sharply criticised the Government over its failure to meet its own targets on Army recruitment. This follows revelations in the Daily Mail yesterday...

The Black Country is set to benefit if Coventry wins the competition to be the UK’s next City of Culture, according to local MP, John Spellar.

The MP joined fellow West Midlands MPs in Parliament to show his support for Coventry this week, following the official launch of the competition by Culture Minister Matt Hancock in Hull.

Commenting on the competition, John Spellar MP said:

“I’m proud to be backing our fellow Midlands town Coventry as the UK’s next City of Culture – a city that has reinvented itself on many occasions over the centuries and now stands as a modern, diverse city.

“Coventry and our wider region have so much to offer in terms of culture and this title would be a win for the whole of the region.

“It would bring millions to the local economy and help to put the West Midlands well and truly on the map.”

The DCMS set out the process for bidding for UK City of Culture in 2021 earlier this month but Coventry has been preparing to bid for more than a year.

David Burbidge, the chair of the City of Culture Trust, said: “Coventry has moved people by car, by jet plane and bicycle over the years and continues to do so through culture. We have learned much about what the city has to offer during the past 12 months but also the many issues we believe City of Culture can help to tackle.

“Winning would bring so many benefits to the city and the West Midlands. Places like Glasgow, Manchester, Hull and Liverpool have shown how perceptions of the north can be changed. The time is right for the Midlands to stand up and deliver.

“We are inspired by Hull which has kicked off its year so dramatically and so positively, attracting 340,000 visitors to its first event.

“And for Coventry, which once stood as the capital of England, this is a great chance to take centre stage once again.”

Coventry City Council, The University of Warwick, and Coventry University are Principal Partners of the bid and are providing significant support. The Ricoh Arena is Bid Sponsor while Jaguar Land Rover, Friargate, Coventry Building Society, the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, Birmingham Airport, Pertemps and CEF (City Electrical Factors) are all Bid Development Sponsors.

For more information please go to: www.coventry2021.co.uk

“Coventry City of Culture would be a boost for the Black Country” says John Spellar MP

The Black Country is set to benefit if Coventry wins the competition to be the UK’s next City of Culture, according to local MP, John Spellar. The MP joined fellow...

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