Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin calls for government to maintain Black Country skills funding

Dudley MP Ian Austin has demanded the Government make sure Black Country training programmes continue to receive funding.

Click here to watch Ian's question to the Education Secretary

Click here to watch Ian's question to the Education Secretary

The area currently receives £50 million for skills, training and apprenticeships from EU-funded programmes. Austin is calling on the government to use money saved from the UK’s contributions to the EU to ensure Black Country training programmes continue.

Speaking at Education Questions in the House of Commons, Austin demanded Universities Minister Jo Johnson ensures funds for education and training funds will not be lost when Britain leaves the EU.

The MP also pushed ministers to use the money that Britain currently contributes to the EU to support for Dudley College’s new Institute of Technology and create university campuses in areas like Dudley that do not have any.

Austin has been campaigning to make education and skills the Black Country’s number one priority to attract new jobs and business to the area to replace those lost in traditional industries.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Ian Austin said:

“The only way we’re going to bring new jobs and new industries to areas like the Black Country which have lost their traditional industries is if we’ve got the skills that new, modern and hi-tech industries need.

“So will he guarantee that the £50 million currently spent in the Black Country on skills which comes from the EU is maintained after we leave?

“And will he use the rest of the money that we currently contribute to the EU to get behind brilliant institutions like Dudley’s new Institute of Technology and ensure that we can have university campuses in areas like Dudley which don’t have them at the moment?”

Jo Johnson MP, Minister of State for Universities, replied:

“As I mentioned in a previous answer will be the subject of a broad discussion, and amongst the important issues at stake in that is the future of our access to funding streams which have been of value to the institutions such as he mentions.”

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