We're thrilled to be welcoming Angela Rayner, Shadow Secretary of State for Education and MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden and Failsworth to speak at our Centenary Conference.

She'll be speaking as part of our three day landmark event, with a full programme available via the button below.

View our full programme

About Angela

Angela Rayner speaking

Angela did not have a privileged upbringing and never went to public school or university. She was brought up on a council estate and left her local comprehensive at 16 with no qualifications and a baby already on the way, after being told she would ‘never amount to anything’.

After a spell at the local FE College, Angela started working as a care worker for Stockport Council where she gained experience at the sharp end of public services. Much of her time was spent providing one-to-one care to elderly people in their own homes, looking after their personal hygiene, preparing meals, listening and showing empathy.

She was soon put forward by her women work-mates to speak for them as a union rep with UNISON. It was there she rose through the ranks of the trade union movement with her direct experience of low pay, long hours and zero hours contracts, to become the most senior elected official of UNISON in the North West of England.

In 2015, Angela Rayner became the first woman MP in the 180-year history of her Ashton-under-Lyne constituency. She was soon promoted to the shadow whip’s office by the new Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and then went on to hold the position of Shadow Pensions Minister, before becoming a member of the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Education.

Away from Parliament and politics, Angela is married to Mark, who is also a UNISON official and has three sons.