Sharon Hodgson MP gave Sunderland schoolchildren a taste of life in the exciting world of politics as part of an Esh Group Building my Skills session.

20th April 2017

Sharon Hodgson MP gave Sunderland schoolchildren a taste of life in the exciting world of politics recently.

The Labour MP for Washington and Sunderland West joined pupils at Red House Academy in the city to talk about her life as a politician and what it takes to make a career as an MP. Sharon spoke to nearly 100 Year 10 pupils about her role representing her constituency in Parliament, as part of the Building My Skills programme, launched by Esh Group and involving people from different professional backgrounds. The scheme aims to give children an introduction to the world of work through sessions delivered by people from different sectors.

Sharon, who is Shadow Minister for Public Health, became interested in politics during Margaret Thatcher’s time in office in the 1980s. Before becoming an MP she worked in payroll and for a charity that provided support for children at risk of dropping out of education.

Sharon said: “It was wonderful to speak to young people at Red House Academy as part of Esh Group’s Building My Skills programme, as it is important to inspire and encourage young people to have the aspiration in life to get on and do great things when they enter the workforce, especially by opening their horizons to the many different careers out there.

“I was delighted to talk to the young people about my work as a Member of Parliament and the wider world of politics and government as a potential career path for them to pursue, especially when for some, it may not seem like an obvious career path to take.

“Esh Group is doing an amazing job of raising the aspiration of young people in our area and helping improve their employability skills. This work must be congratulated and I wish all of the pupils on the programme all the best as they continue on the course and in all of their future endeavours; I hope to see some of them on the green benches one day!”
Describing the cut and thrust of Prime Minister’s Questions, meeting with constituents and work in the House of Commons, Sharon painted a picture of her job for the Red House Academy pupils.

As part of the Building My Skills programme, children complete a portfolio checklist which includes setting out their career aspirations, making their online appearance professional, creating a CV and covering letter and preparation for interviews.

Sharon’s session marked the final stage in the programme for the Red House Academy pupils, and now those who have completed the portfolio will be offered a mock interview at a regional event organised by Esh Group.

Sharon’s support for Building My Skills is fantastic, and the Red House Academy event marks the first such session delivered by an MP. Building My Skills is about opening the doors to the workplace for young people, raising their aspirations and making sure they have the right approach to secure that all important first job.

- Darush Dodds, head of Corporate Responsibility and Added Value at Esh Group

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