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Funding Educational Facilities: Dudley

Volume 664: debated on Monday 9 September 2019

Dudley will benefit from the substantial additional investment in education, including £14 billion for schools across England over the next three years, and £400 million for 16-to-19 education next year, on top of additional money provided to cover pension costs.

It is my job to stand up for Dudley, so I am absolutely delighted that our campaign for a new university-level technical skills and apprenticeship centre has paid off, with the announcement on Friday that we were getting £25 million from the stronger towns fund. Is this not exactly what is needed to bring good, new, well-paid jobs in high-tech industries such as advanced manufacturing, digital media, low carbon technologies, autonomous electric vehicles and healthcare to replace those that the Black Country has lost in traditional industries?

I take this opportunity to pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman and to my hon. Friend the Member for Dudley South (Mike Wood) for all the work they have done in campaigning to deliver this for Dudley, and for the work they have done to deliver the institute of technology in Dudley as well. That will all go towards generating the right skills and the right educational outcomes not only for the whole town of Dudley but much more widely. I very much hope to visit Dudley. Hopefully, the hon. Gentleman will be able to join me to discuss how we can do more for Dudley and the surrounding area.

Following the deeply regrettable closure of Stourbridge College earlier this summer, will my right hon. Friend consider meeting the principals of all the Dudley colleges—Dudley College, Halesowen College and King Edward VI College—with a view to discussing their wish to continue to provide vocational skills training, particularly adult education, in my constituency of Stourbridge.