The South East local enterprise partnership, which covers the district of Tendring, has received £590 million through the local growth fund to drive regional development. Business support for small and medium-sized enterprises is available through the LEP’s Business Essex, Southend and Thurrock growth hub. The LEP is funding projects to strengthen coastal communities, including Tendring, as well as supporting the highly skilled offshore renewables sector.
High-skilled jobs are clearly useless without anyone to fill them, and the employee supply chain necessitates a clear role for further education. I recently signed a cross-party letter to the Chancellor calling for further education funding to be increased to above inflation in the next financial year. Does the Minister agree with me and 164 other colleagues that that is a good idea?
The Government have protected the base rate of funding for 16 to 19-year-olds until 2020 and are working closely with the post-18 funding review led by Sir Philip Augar to ensure a coherent vision for further and higher education. As part of its local industrial strategy for the district of Tendring, I welcome the fact that the South East LEP is investing in further education, including £10 million for the Colchester Institute’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Innovation Centre, its Learning and Technology Centre in Braintree, and a centre of excellence in health and care in Colchester.