18 MAR 2014

Christopher Pincher calls for a debate on science and technology skilling

Christopher Pincher, Member of Parliament for Tamworth and surrounding villages, has called for a debate on science and technology skilling as his own research has found that 35% of businesses polled across the Tamworth constituency are concerned about the science and technology skills in new recruits.

Speaking in the House of Commons Mr Pincher said:

"May we have a debate on science and technology skilling, because over 30% of the 200 businesses I have polled in my constituency were concerned about the science and technology skills of their new recruits? A debate would enable us to discuss how we can improve those skills and help businesses in places like Tamworth, which has an unemployment rate of just 2%, find the resources they need."

In response Andrew Lansley, Leader of the House, commented:

"This is very important. He will recall the initiative just last September of a £400 million fund—£200 million from the Government matched by £200 million from the private sector—for university science departments to develop world-class facilities so that Britain can meet the science industry's demand for highly skilled young people.... Last week recruitment was taking place for the first entry to the university technical college in Cambridge, which is offering courses and places focusing on life sciences training for young people, and similar things are happening in other places. We need these developments, and we are very much aware of the demands coming from industry for those kinds of skills. I hope in Tamworth and elsewhere we will increasingly be able to support the places that are required."

Speaking later on the topic Mr Pincher stated that:

"If we are to rebalance our economy with more of an emphasis on engineering and less of a reliance on the financial services sector then it is vital that we continue to invest in STEM subjects encouraging the best graduates into schools to teach and inspire their students. We need world class vocational and university graduates to build the businesses of the future in Tamworth and around the country."

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