Duncan asked the Prime Minister to back Wiltshire College’s plan for a new £21 million campus in Chippenham to provide more vocational training and apprenticeships.
At Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Duncan asked David Cameron to join him in backing Wiltshire College’s bid to the Government’s Skills Funding Agency.
The Prime Minister, seeing a similar need in his own constituency, replied “It’s this government that’s now putting the money in to see that expansion and that improvement and put better quality colleges into place, and I’m sure that can happen in Wiltshire as well as Witney.”
After the session, Duncan said:
“The Prime Minister’s words are a welcome boost for Wiltshire College’s funding bid. A new state-of-the-art campus in Chippenham would be a fantastic investment in our young people. I am determined to get the Government funding we will need for the project to go ahead, so that local students have the best chance to gain the workplace skills employers demand.”
Duncan had previously met with the college Principal, Di Dale, and offered his full support to help them make these plans a reality. In Parliament last December, he asked the Further Education and Skills Minister to ensure the college received the investment it needs for the future.
Full text of Duncan’s question today and the Prime Minister’s answer:
Duncan Hames: “The economy has grown 1.5% in the last six months, during which time in the Chippenham constituency the number of Jobseekers has fallen by a fifth. Raising living standards requires greater productivity from a workforce which is highly skilled, but hopes in Chippenham were dashed five years ago when the national college building programme ran out of money. Will the Prime Minister join me in backing Wiltshire College’s bid to the Skills Funding Agency to rebuild our Chippenham campus – fit for local students to gain the skills employers demand?”
The Prime Minister: “I very much agree with what my honourable friend said. We all remember the huge disappointment when Labour’s planned investment collapsed in so many of our colleges. I saw exactly the same thing in Abingdon and Witney College, and it’s this government that’s now putting the money in to see that expansion and that improvement and put better quality colleges into place, and I’m sure that can happen in Wiltshire as well as Witney.”