Investing in technical education

Among the measures in last week’s Budget was an investment in technical education for 16 to 19 year olds.

New T-level qualifications for technical students will be introduced from 2019. Students will have the opportunity to choose from 15 different routes such as agriculture, digital and construction.

Once this programme is fully rolled out, the Government will invest an additional £500 million a year to help give these students the technical skills they need to succeed in the world of work, and give businesses the edge they need to compete in a new, global Britain.

To help these young people the courses include a placement in industry, and the number of hours of training for these students will increase by over 50 per cent.

For my part, I’m hosting the 2017 Crawley Apprenticeship & Jobs Fair, at the Civic Hall, on Monday 27th March, 10am-3pm.

We’ll have a whole host of top-class companies with offices and headquarters in Crawley in attendance.

I want these firms to see the depth of talent on offer in Crawley and for local students to make the most of the job and apprenticeship placements on offer.

From 2010 to 2015 the number of active enterprises in Crawley increased, rising by more than 600 to over 3,600. The Crawley economy continues to prosper, but while the number of people locally claiming out of work benefits over the last seven years has fallen by 65 per cent, these figures are of little consolation when seeking a job.

I’m grateful for the support of the Fair’s sponsors; Crawley Borough Council, B&CE the People’s Pension, L-3 Commercial Training Solutions, Cavendish Care and HM Prison Service.

Organisations showcasing opportunities include charities Autism Sussex and Dimensions UK, training groups Jace Training and Rewards Training, and companies such as Coral and Sofitel.

The event is free of charge, and open to people of all ages interested in seeking out new apprenticeship and employment opportunities.

Henry Smith MP