Last week I visited thebigword, one of the largest employers in my constituency. I was interested to learn about plans to create a Northern Defence Forum which will bring together organisations from across the region to form an industry hub which, it is hoped, will drive the development of sector growth in the area.   

I really enjoyed meeting participants in the organisations’ award winning apprenticeship scheme and understand how thebigword supports young people locally. Offering individuals of school leaving age the opportunity to earn while they learn vital skills for the world of work, the programme, which launched in 2011 has seen in excess of 150 people graduate -; many of whom have gone on to secure permanent employment with thebigword.

Staff members from thebigword are also taking their role in the local community very seriously by volunteering in New Wortley, mentoring people involved in the ‘Our Place’ initiative.  

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