Politically Speaking: By Mark Eastwood, MP for Dewsbury

£9.5m investment in skills will boost economy

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 11:30 am
VISIT: Prime Minister Boris Johnson assists in an engine repair at the automotive shop at Kirklees College. Photo: Getty Images

It was marvellous to welcome Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kirklees College last month to discuss the importance of skills and apprenticeships, which will help drive social mobility and boost our local economy.

Whilst at the college the Prime Minister spoke to staff and students and announced that the Government are investing £9.5 million into training and development for further education teachers. This is really positive news which will build on the previously announced Lifetime Skills Guarantee, which has now launched to help adults without an A-level or equivalent qualification access a free, fully-funded college course at a time and location of their choice.

Further to the news, Dewsbury has been awarded £24.8 million in Government funding to revitalise the town. I am delighted that Keith Ramsay has been appointed as chair of the Town Board. Mr Ramsay has a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors, and I look forward to working alongside him to ensure that we deliver the projects outlined in the Town Investment Plan, which will transform our town and make it once again a great place to work, visit and live.

It is always a pleasure to get out and about across the constituency. I have made some enjoyable visits lately, including watching Savile Town under 10s football team demolish Brighouse with an impressive 9-0 win. Congratulations to all the team!

Meanwhile, in Parliament, I asked a question about the Launch of the Government’s Youth Investment Fund, which is a crucial manifesto commitment and will be valuable in supporting young people when launched in the coming months and is something I am passionate about.

I also asked Chancellor Rishi Sunak about the Government’s new apprentice incentive scheme for employers. It was great to hear Rishi pay tribute to local businesses, Shackletons (Dewsbury) and John Cotton (Mirfield). These businesses are key local employers, and I am proud to support them as they look to expand by hiring new apprentices through the Government’s £3,000 incentive scheme.

As you will undoubtedly have heard, the Prime Minister has now set out the final step in our irreversible roadmap out of lockdown. July 19 will essentially be the day we reclaim our normal way of life.

This announcement, however, does not mean the pandemic is over. Of course, cases will likely continue to rise over the coming weeks. Still, as we begin to learn to live with this virus, we must all continue to carefully manage the risks from Covid and exercise judgement when going about our lives.

Finally, I’d like to remind people that there is a pop-up vaccination clinic this Saturday, July 10, 9am-1pm, at Sidings Healthcare Centre in Dewsbury. No appointment is needed. You can drop in to get your first or second dose of the Pfizer or Astra Zeneca vaccine, available for anyone aged 18 years and over.

As always, the team and I are here to help. Please feel free to contact me via email [email protected] or telephone 01924 939007.