The Labour candidate for Tees Valley Mayor has outlined his plan to support people in the region into work at all stages of their lives.

Chris McEwan, current deputy leader of Darlington Borough Council, wants to be able to help everyone in the region get a job.

His plan will involve giving everyone in the Tees Valley a skills and employment review at key stages in their life. Currently, that will be at the ages of 16, 24 and 50.

This scheme hopes to support people finding work in new and emerging industries and helps the region get the skills it needs to succeed.

Speaking about his pledge, Chris said: "As a father and grandfather, I know how important it is for our young people across the region to reach their potential. That is why today I am pledging a Guaranteed Skills and Employment Review to everyone at ages 16, 24 and 50.

"This recognises that as new jobs and industries develop, opportunities will emerge.

"We must have a skills system that treats people like individuals - not numbers on a spreadsheet.

"We must work with Colleges and the Skills providers as they have part of the answer.

"This is about helping local people to get well-paid jobs at every stage of their life."

 This will form part of Mr McEwan's five pledges if he is elected Tees Valley Mayor on May 2.

As well as the help with jobs, he also plans to bring back free car parking in town centres, a cap on bus fares for young people going to work or school and investing in CCTV to clamp down on anti-social behaviour.

He will be running against incumbent Conservative Lord Houchen, Sally Bunce for the Green Party and Simon Thorley for the Liberal Democrats. 

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Lord Houchen, reacting to this policy announcement, said: "The only thing the Labour Party have done for jobs in our area, is to try and stop them. They fought against my plan to save our airport, which would have cost hundreds of local jobs and damaged the local economy. 

"Since being elected Mayor Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool has seen the employment rate rise by 3.6%, a phenomenal record when compared to the North East rate of 0.1% and the national average of 0.6%. 

"Our region will need more than an ‘employment review’ meeting for people if we go back to the bad old days under Labour of no investment, no jobs and no opportunities for local people."