Speaking in a Parliamentary debate on the economy in the Midlands, Nadhim Zahawi commends the Government's agenda to deliver 3 million apprenticeships which brings big benefits to the region and to manufacturing.
As a west midlander, I completely agree with my hon. Friend that we should speak with one voice as one region. In that way we will do better. On skills, the Government’s agenda to deliver 3 million apprenticeships is to be commended. That is probably one of the biggest benefits for our region and manufacturing.
Absolutely. I was going to come to apprenticeships, which are significant in Derby North. We really need to look at having training and skills that match local employers’ needs. Our local enterprise partnerships outlined that as a key theme when they were consulted by the Government about plans for the engine. During my time as an MP, I have regularly heard concerns that more needs to be done to tailor skills to play to local strengths and boost our productivity. Brilliant work is being done in Derby to try to tackle that problem. For example, in response to the needs of businesses such as Rolls-Royce and Bombardier, the university in the city recently opened a new science, technology, engineering and maths building. Apprenticeship providers such as 3aaa are building initiatives to link employers, schools and apprenticeship providers to tailor skills. More needs to be done to support such initiatives if the midlands engine is to live up to its full potential.