The lack of jobs is a huge problem for many people across Merseyside and efforts to match people with vacancies are always welcome. A number of my colleagues have held jobs fairs where employers and potential recruits meet up.
So it was encouraging to attend the Fish4Jobs mobile jobs fair at Liverpool One.
Fish4Jobs is one of the top online jobs websites and they have commandeered a double decker bus which is stopping off around the country.
The bus parked at Liverpool One outside John Lewis for two days and a number of national employers were on hand to arrange interviews on the spot.
In addition, Fish4Jobs staff were running seminars on writing a better CV and on how to perform at interview. There was also information on skills which young people could develop and on opportunities for training and qualifications.
The high and growing number of young people out of work is a very worrying problem and one that needs to be addressed.
The team was giving out some excellent advice and assistance and making some valuable introductions.
The team told me about some of their early successes. Within hours they had linked a number of employers with new employees.
I would like to thank the Fish4Jobs team for coming to the area and helping some of Sefton's job hunters.
People living in the poorest neighbourhoods will, on average, die several years earlier than people living in the richest neighbourhoods. Heart disease is a major cause of these premature death rates.
So, I was really pleased to meet the British Heart Foundation at their annual event in parliament. BHF spends £11million on its Hearty Lives programme. Hearty Lives aims to reduce the inequalities in heart disease through local partnership working and tailored projects for those who need them most.
Some of the ways the BHF help include:
· risk assessments for hard to reach communities at risk of heart disease
· helping people with mental health problems to access heart health services
· promoting smoke-free homes to prevent children and young people from taking up smoking
· lifestyle support for unemployed people, as well as support for employers to set up workplace health programmes
I was also thrilled to meet up with an old friend from Sefton, Robin Ireland from Heart of Mersey.
Robin was supporting the BHF at the event and works closely with them in the work that Heart of Mersey do across Merseyside. I last saw Robin at the launch of the smoke free play areas project at Duke Street Park in Formby. Heart of Mersey, like BHF do terrific work in combating the damage done by heart disease through building awareness of the need for good diet, exercise, not smoking and drinking alcohol only in moderation.
He and his colleagues work closely with BHF and it was great to see him in parliament supporting the work that the foundation does.
Heart of Mersey is doing a great job trying to improve the health of people across Merseyside and they face real challenges following big cuts to funding by the government. I was really pleased to be able to support both Robin and BHF in the work they do and I would encourage everyone to look at the evidence from BHF on bhf.org.uk and to think carefully about the benefits of a healthy way of life.
The Hearty Lives project has made a big difference to people around the country and I hope that people in Crosby, Maghull and Formby can benefit from it as well.