I challenged the Education Secretary on the shortage of people with digital and cyber skills in our country (see here). After recently visiting the Silicon Milkroundabout jobs fair, I discovered that many companies are not willing to recruit people straight from university or as apprentices. I urged the Government to do more and work with these companies so more young people in Hackney can get the digital skills they need and become the digital backbone of the future of our country.
The Public Accounts Committee pressed senior NHS officials on the large backlog of people waiting for care. A staggering 7 million or more people are waiting for elective (pre-planned) treatment. And with hospitals already under pressure, rising Covid and flu cases will only make things more difficult. The NHS bosses conceded that they are unlikely to meet targets to reduce the backlog by March next year. Look out for our report on this, which will be published next year. See here to watch the hearing in full.
And it was a delight to visit Daubeney Primary School, which has been working with NurtureUK to set up a nurture group for Year 1 pupils and their families. Children in Hackney face many challenges. One in two live in poverty, many are severely overcrowded at home, and they've had to deal with the upheaval of Covid. These and other experiences can have a huge impact on mental health, behaviour, and general well being. The new Nest provides a wonderful space for children to get the support they need to thrive.