“IF you work hard I’ll give you job” was the message to schoolchildren who joined the Right Reverend Justin Welby on a visit to Darlington’s Cummins plant.
The future Archbishop of Canterbury toured the engineering company to learn more about its involvement in the Foundation for Jobs scheme and heard how the plant’s general manager, Des McMenamin, is committed to helping local youths into work.
Addressing the audience of children from schools across Darlington, Mr McMenamin said: “It’s about attitude and hunger and having spoken to you all here I can see that you have it – I would give you a job now if I could!
“We will train people here and develop them into what they want to do; if you work hard, pass your exams and keep the hunger and the attitude then we will give you a job.”
Bishop Welby told the pupils that when he was 14-years-old a school report stated that he ‘wasn’t even bright enough for a career in engineering'.
He said: “That was the attitude around engineering at the time, that it was set apart.
“Then I ended up in the oil industry and the brightest people were the engineers.”
He said he was pleased that the culture had changed and that through the Foundation for Jobs, young people were given the chance to learn more about careers in the modern world and the skills needed to get into them.
“One of the things I am hearing about this area is that lots of people can’t get jobs, but I also hear that there are not the people with the skills,” he said.
“It is a myth that there are totally no jobs around, it is just that there are not jobs for people without the hunger.”
During his Cummins visit Bishop Welby also toured the factory floor to learn more about the company which exports engines across the globe.