Well done to the Black Country Chamber of Commerce for organising the Black Country Business festival which kicked off this week with events all over the Black Country, the festival is a great opportunity to talk about what we do well here in the Black Country and focus on the areas where we need to do more.
Yesterday, I was pleased to take part in the Express and Star’s business event alongside Emma Reynolds MP where we had a great discussion touching on some fantastic local companies including JLR, UTC and Assa Abloy. It was great to also celebrate the success of SMEs such as the LearnPlay Foundation in my constituency. We also discussed the issues posed by Brexit and the need to foster more growth in the city’s economy.
In particular, I focused on the skills issues facing my constituency. The key figures include;
- In England, there’s an average of 30% of people who hold a higher educational qualification. In Wolverhampton South East, the figure is just 10%.
- In England, there’s an average of only 8% of people who have no formal qualification at all, but in Wolverhampton South East, the figure is at a high of 25%.
The main message is this: unless we change these numbers, local people won’t get the opportunities they need and the chance that they deserve of getting good jobs in the future.