Ian Austin MP

Labour MP for Dudley North

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Austin calls on Mayoral candidates to make education and skills their top priority

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Dudley MP Ian Austin speaks at Talent Match conference about bringing new jobs to Dudley and the West Midlands

Austin – a member of the House of Commons Education Select Committee and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the West Midlands - will issue the challenge at a conference organised by Talent Match Black Country – which helps young unemployed people get skills and jobs – at the Hawthorns in West Bromwich on Friday March 3rd.

Ian Austin will say:

“Fifty years ago Black Country manufacturing made the West Midlands the UK's richest region. Forty years ago output in the Midlands outstripped London and the South-East but everyone knows we’ve struggled to attract new industries and new jobs to replace the ones in traditional industries on which the area’s prosperity was based.

“Young people in the Black Country are as good as anyone, but long-term youth unemployment is still twice the national average, school standards are still not good enough, we haven’t got enough apprenticeships and we’ve only got one university for over a million people.

“I want the candidates for West Midlands Mayor to use the election to explain how they will boost skills to attract new industries and new jobs to the region.

“We need to be inspired by our past and forge a new industrial revolution to attract well-paid, high-skilled jobs to the Black Country.

“Over the next 20 years there’s going to be huge growth and millions of well-paid and secure jobs in hi-tech industries like advanced manufacturing, low carbon technologies and construction, digital media and bio-tech and healthcare technologies, but the only way the Black Country will be able to attract new investment, new industries and new jobs to replace the ones we’ve lost is if we’ve got the skills they need.”

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