Thursday, 14 October 2010

Skills training and jobs creation in the West Midlands

Today, I travelled doiwn to the House of Commons to meet with local MPs including Bob Ainsworth, Mark Pawsey and the Chairman of the Employer Coalition in the West Midlands, Mike Beasley to counter the 38,200 jobs forecast to be lost in the West Midlands over the next five years.  The meeting concluded radical change needs to occur, especially at the highest skill levels to create more and better jobs for the public.  Actions agreed on included focusing on the skills needed to create one million net new jobs for the unemployed as well tackling the 200,000 known skills shortages in the West Midlands.
Actions already been taken include the following:
·         Rugby, The Power Academy- Designed to support the training needs of the power generation industry.
·         Shropshire, Regional Food Academy- Offering businesses the opportunity to develop and test new products.
·         Birmingham, New Street Station development- Enabling local people to benefit from 800 job, training and apprenticeship opportunities that will be generated during the construction phases together with a further 11,000 jobs from be created from this development.
·         All areas- Support to help small businesses to grow and help graduates into work by increasing number of internship partners.
I gave them my full support in the attempt to get European Union funding for jobs in the West Midlands. ie getting some of our money back!  I highlighted the adverse affects of EU legislation and have invited the group to Brussels for a cross party discussion for how to promote jobs and training in the region. I pleaded for greater parliamentary scritiny on EU directives and a clamp down on gold plating. It was a shame that I was the only MEP from the West Midlands who bothered to turn up. So much for the LibLabCon