Skills and Training Minister welcomed on visit to Nottingham North

Posted on 19 January 2017 (Permalink)

“Today's figures that show Nottingham North has 555 young people claiming unemployment benefits. They are the reason why we need to bring more education and training opportunities to the patch, and equally importantly, hold onto the ones we have” said Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North.

"I have raised these issues with the Skills Minister, Robert Halfon, who has not only listened attentively but has generously agreed to privately visit our Nottingham North patch on Thursday 19th January to see for himself how vital it is for local young people to have ways to develop skills for work on their doorstep especially on the Outer Estates where populations are less mobile.

The constituency is the most deprived out of 650 in the country for education, skills, and training, which inevitably leads to young people finding it harder to get jobs. Hence Nottingham North is the 22nd worst constituency in the country for unemployment, as 5.5% of 16-64 year olds claim benefits, comfortably over twice the national average of 2.4%.

Yet the new management of Nottingham College are proposing to remove important Health and Social Care job training from Basford Hall campus, where it’s much more important for the area than it would be in the city centre. I’m strongly opposed to this; if we are to bring work to the next generation -particularly young women - then the last thing the neglected outer estates need is to lose important courses like this which train nursing assistants, home care workers, and many others.

The Minister will also see that we are not passive victims of our demography, not only did we save Basford Hall (Nottm North's only FE) from closure and sale for speculative housing by a previous incarnation of FE, but with Skills Funding Agency and other partners we have now completely rebuilt it and have space for a planned expansion of a Health University. One organisation that’s working hard to help with our skills problem is our Rebalancing the Outer Estates Charity, which I co-founded. The charity has pioneered unique Skills Coaches -who the Minister specifically asked to meet - into each of our local Secondary Schools to guide 11-18 year olds towards skills and jobs. Inventing nationally innovative schemes tailor made for local circumstances and fighting to retain and develop our fair share of FE provision is the way to regenerate prospects for our young people on our outer estates.”