THIS month I have focused on three issues in our area: our national defence and defence industries, jobs and access to health services.
I was recently part of a round-table discussion at the National Composites Centre with multiple employers including MBDA, Leonardo, GKN, BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Babcock. We discussed multiple issues relating to the work the NCC does to support the defence industry in our area and enhance the technology base in our area.
The NCC is part of the catapult network, designed to massively progress regional technology investment, encourage cooperation between companies and promote high-value manufacturing in the UK economy to help give British manufacturing a competitive advantage.
In the discussion I emphasised the importance of educational engagement by STEM-field companies and the necessity to get young people engaged in science and engineering, so that we can maintain excellence in manufacturing and produce the next generation of scientists and engineers.
I was also able to visit Babcock and meet with chief technology officer Dr Richard Drake, for an interesting discussion about their innovative projects. It was great to see such cutting-edge technology being developed right here in our area, such as the Skynet satellite programme.
In parliament I also got to meet with apprentices from major Filton employers Airbus and Rolls-Royce to hear about their progress and their future career plans.
At the SGS College Employer Conference this month, it was good to see so many local employers.
I also visited the engineering centre at Abbeywood School to discuss the new University Technical College sleeve concept being introduced with representatives of Olympus Trust, UT Colleges, The Baker Dearing Educational Trust and several employers in our area. The UTC sleeve concept involves an advanced engineering facility located within a wider school framework.
This should provide not only Abbeywood students, but students from across the Olympus Academy Trust with the ability to gain practical experience of engineering and technical education in a first-class environment; it is very encouraging that local students will have access to such a high-quality resource.
Access to health services is one of the most important issues for our area. I recently visited Almondsbury Surgery to discuss primary healthcare provision. We also talked about their new access model, which will enable greater access to clinical professionals at the practice through an online system.
I also had the opportunity to have a very informative meeting with Maria Kane, CEO of North Bristol NHS Trust at Southmead Hospital. We discussed the improvements made to cancer care by the trust, as well as domiciliary care and their impressive apprenticeship program with several hundred apprentices currently at the trust. I also heard about the exciting proposals for a new elective care centre, with four theatres, which will be a major boost to their operation.
Should you need my help with anything, my office is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm.
Call me on 01454 617783 or email me at email@example.com if I can be of assistance or to book a surgery.