Why did Sunderland MP swap jobs for a day?

Liebherr apprentices Tony Armstrong and Martin ONeill with MP Julie Elliott.
Liebherr apprentices Tony Armstrong and Martin ONeill with MP Julie Elliott.

A Wearside MP took to the factory floor of a Sunderland crane company as part of a job swap day.

Ms Elliott, who represents Sunderland Central, switched roles with apprentices at Liebherr Sunderland Works for the day – to support their efforts in the 2017 Brathay Apprentice Challenge competition.

MP Julie Elliott with trainees Tony Armstrong (middle) and Martin ONeill (r).

MP Julie Elliott with trainees Tony Armstrong (middle) and Martin ONeill (r).

“For the first part of the swap, I joined apprentices at the Deptford plant – where I witnessed the continuation of our city’s proud tradition for producing top quality tradespeople,” she said.

“The second part of the job swap involved inviting the apprentices back to my office in Norfolk Street, to find out more about the role of an MP working in the North East.

“It was a very interesting, and informative, day.”

Liebherr Sunderland Works – which manufactures maritime cranes, off-shore cranes and port cranes – has trained scores of apprentices since starting production in 1989.

Apprentices regularly take part in the annual Brathay Apprentice Challenge – a search for Team of the Year supported by the National Apprenticeship Service – with a job swap being part of the contest.

“I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Liebherr on several occasions and have always been impressed by their commitment to providing quality apprenticeships for young people,” added Ms Elliott.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the job swap, which allowed me to see how Liebherr is equipping young people with valuable skills. I want to wish the apprentices all the very best in the competition.”

Tony Armstrong, a Liebherr apprentice who took part in the job swap, said: “Apprenticeships offer a great opportunity to young people, like myself, who have left school and want to get a head start in the working world.

“Being involved in a job swap with Julie Elliott has opened my eyes into how confident and assuring an MP needs to be.

“They have to have a great understanding, of a great deal of things; as well as thinking on the spot and ahead at all times.

“I would like to thank Julie for agreeing to do a job swap to help with our team Brathay Challenge efforts; which I found has been a very good experience.”