COLUMN: Jobs fairs are great constituency events

Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman
Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman

The recent Boston Jobs Fair was remarkable for two reasons: first, it was bigger than ever, with hundreds of jobs and hundreds of prospective applicants through the doors of the Peter Paine. Hot on the heels of the Skegness jobs fair this is usually a great kind of constituency event in which to play a part. I’m keen to support local charities and businesses so that they can respectively provide genuine experience of work for the unemployed and then concrete opportunities for work. Alongside opportunities in agriculture - by no means all minimum wage - and in the NHS, there were also national employers such as the armed forces, helping the constituency to further drive down what is already historically low unemployment. My role in this is to bring people together, and to make sure central government is providing all the help Jobcentre Plus needs to make the most of fairs such as this. I will continue it as long as I am your Member of Parliament.

There was a second notable thing about the fair, however: it was the first time I was advised that personal security would be a helpful thing at a public event. A specific concern about one individual meant a regrettable cost to the tax payer, and while I didn’t want it to get in the way of speaking to each stand it inevitably did have an impact. All politicians today know that hectoring and harassment, online in particular, is a part of the job, inexcusable though it is. I will continue to be as available as I possibly can, whether it’s as I’m doing my shopping on a Saturday morning or at surgeries and on social media. But I would ask individuals to fully consider the consequences of their actions. The PCSO who accompanied me at the jobs fair was a superb professional and I’m genuinely grateful to him - but I know too that his time should be better spent elsewhere.

Matt Warman is Conservative MP for Boston and Skegness