Archive for December, 2011
New data shows that 600 Apprenticeships have been delivered in Bedford & Kempston in the last year, up 70% on the previous year.
Richard, who recently visited Ultra Precision Engineering in Kempston, where they have just taken on two new apprentices from the Bedford Training Group, said that the record rise in apprenticeship numbers shows commitment to helping employers train the skilled workers they need to build a stronger, growing economy. He added that companies like Ultra Precision Engineering are providing a vital role in skills development.
He was also delighted with the Government’s announcement that it will offer cash bonuses to employers for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24 and urges companies in Bedford and Kempston to take up this opportunity.
For more information on apprenticeships, please visit this link.
Richard met with the founders of the Castle Quarter initiative, Karen Fryc and Sam Price, last Friday to discuss their plans for the east side of Bedford.
Karen & Sam talked through their manifesto for Castle Quarter, the area in and around the Embankment, St Cuthbert’s, Castle Road and Mill Street which is aiming to celebrate and promote the quarter to attract people from outside the town to visit.
“My views are completely aligned with what the Castle Quarter group are trying to achieve. A few years ago, I wrote to the then Mayor, Frank Branston, about the town centre redevelopment suggesting that Bedford needed a unique offering that reflected the special characteristics of the town and that we should promote area clusters with their own special identities. This is precisely what Castle Quarter is trying to achieve.
“In tough economic times, with family budgets tight, we need to nurture and support our local shops. Castle Quarter is a great step forward and a model the rest of the town can follow.”
Richard has welcomed today’s announcement that disabled people living in residential care will continue to receive the mobility component of the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and its proposed successor, the Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
The government had proposed to remove the mobility component of DLA from October 2012. Richard, who has campaigned on this issue for over a year, said he was delighted that since he first raised the issue in Parliament in November 2010, the Minister has taken the time to listen and consult to reach this decision, which allows disabled people in residential homes to maintain their independence.
As part of the listening exercise carried out by Maria Miller MP, Minister for Disabled People, Richard arranged for her to meet with a Bedford constituent, who had the chance to discuss the impact the removal of the mobility component would have on her son.
The Government’s decision sends a signal that it will continue to protect our most vulnerable members of society, despite the difficult economic challenges we face. Richard thanked the Bedford residents that had contacted him, as well as the Minister for meeting with him on several occasions and listening to the strong arguments put forward by his constituents.