I am working hard with local employers, colleges and schools to ensure that our young people have access to high-quality technical and vocational training. I have supported increased funding for apprenticeships, building on the excellent potential at Fareham College and CEMAST, and am pleased that the government is continuing to back this excellent form of training.
Locally, I am doing my best to bring businesses and young people together, and and have held 2 successful Apprenticeship Fairs in Fareham since my election in 2015. Over 1000 apprentices have commenced since 2015- a great sign that our next generation is being empowered through training and work.
The 2017 Apprenticeships Fair was packed with hundreds of people looking to find their perfect opportunity, taking the first steps in their career, or making a career switch. The event was open to people of all ages and held in Ferneham Hall.
At the 2017 fair there was a careers hub where people could attend workshops – supported by Fareham College, Santander and the National Careers Service – to improve their CV, take part in mock interviews and get advice on their presentation and digital skills.
In late 2020 I was joined by Gavin Williamson MP, the Secretary of State for Education, at Fareham College to officially unveil both the new ‘T Level’ teaching facilities at the Bishopsfield Road campus and the Fareham College’s new Civil Engineering Training Centre in Lee-on-the-Solent.
Officially launched in September 2020, T Levels are a new two-year qualification for 16 to 19-year-olds, designed in collaboration with employers and businesses to prepare students for work, further training or study. A 45-day industry placement, which is at the heart of each course, will help young people develop relevant industry experience in pursuit of their desired careers.
I also chair the annual Solent Business Forum. I would like to thank a huge number of local businesses for attending the 2021 Solent Business Forum, it was great to see so many familiar faces and incredibly encouraging to see so many new ones.
It was an immense pleasure to speak alongside Mr Paul Scully MP; The Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets. At the meeting we were able to discuss the Government's new measures – including £4.6 billion of new grants, extending furlough, more generous support for the self-employed, extending loan schemes and an ability to top-up Bounce Back Loans. This support will help businesses get through this difficult period. We will have a budget this March and this will be the time to take stock of the range of support that we’ve put in place and to set out the next stage of our economic response to coronavirus. As a Government we are going above and beyond to support businesses, including those in Fareham, to get back on their feet, but more importantly we are seeking to foster growth and innovation so that local businesses can begin to chart a course, away from uncertainty and towards a new and prosperous future.
If you are a local business and would like to join my Solent Business Forum to attend quarterly lunches (once the law permits) for networking and hearing from speakers in the business world, then email email@example.com.