Dudley MP Ian Austin called on the Tories to make education and skills their number one priority to bring new jobs and new industries to the region.
Speaking at an event at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Austin told the Tories to focus on education and skills to make the West Midlands more competitive in the growing high-tech economy.
Austin was speaking at a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the West Midlands which he launched in 2016 to give a platform for the region’s MPs, businesses, councils and other organisations to demand the best deal for the West Midlands. He has always campaigned for education and skills to be their number one priority to attract new industries and new jobs to the region.
Ian Austin said:
“I want the Government to make education and skills their top priority 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 places like 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 region 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.
“We’ve got some brilliant, world-beating businesses in the West Midlands and we’re managing to attract inward investment but everyone knows places like the Black Country have 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 and the West Midlands 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 the Black Country only has one university for over a million people.”