THIS month I have focused on three main areas: ensuring our area continues to have and increases the number of high-tech, high-skilled, high-paid jobs, our support for Ukraine and the defence and aerospace industry in the region, and access to public transport in our community.
I visited the National Composites Centre in Emersons Green, a world-leading facility which provides end-to-end engineering support for companies such as GKN, Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Leonardo as well as small and medium size businesses such as LINEAT who are engaging in cutting-edge research to recycle carbon fibre.
The fantastic base of aerospace, defence, and manufacturing jobs in our area was a crucial factor in basing the NCC here and is playing a key role in generating inward investment in the UK and generating economic growth and innovation.
The Catapult network, of which the NCC is a part, has a significant apprenticeship intake, with 1,000 apprentices across the network. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor invested an additional 35% in Catapult funding, which will be vital in providing significant investment in skills in our area to educate and inspire young people and to generate the skills needed for an advanced, high-skill, high-wage economy.
I met with Andy Start, CEO of MOD Defence Equipment and Support and Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff at Abbeywood. We discussed the fantastic work the MOD team at DE&S are doing to support the Ukrainians in the defence of their country, as well as how MOD DE&S support the UK defence industry.
I have been working with various stakeholders involved in our public transport network in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
One issue that kept coming up was the issue of insufficient numbers of bus drivers, resulting in service cancellations and unreliability.
As a result of these discussions, I took action to help organise a recruitment event with First Bus and the Job Centre in Horfield. Driving a bus is not just a job, it’s a public service vital to our communities: without bus drivers people cannot get to work and are cut off from other crucial public services.
I will continue to seek solutions to this problem and will work with stakeholders to find solutions to this problem. I will soon meet again with the Managing Director of First Bus to raise the issues relating to bus services.
As always, should you need my help with anything, my office is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm.
Please telephone me on 01454 617783 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can be of assistance, or to book a surgery.