My campaign to raise the profile of apprenticeships

SCANNER APPEAL: Wash Worx co-owner Ian Wilson presents Gordon Birtwistle MP with a cheque for �500 for his scanner appeal.
SCANNER APPEAL: Wash Worx co-owner Ian Wilson presents Gordon Birtwistle MP with a cheque for �500 for his scanner appeal.
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Last week was a varied and exciting week that involved my usual travel down to London but also a trip to the wonderful country of Norway on parliamentary business.

Monday was filled with some important meetings that were largely concerned with apprenticeships. I had a great meeting with David Holland from Skills CfA which is currently responsible for certifying 30% of all UK apprenticeships. We discussed the future of apprenticeships and skills training and I am delighted to have been invited to a CfA apprenticeship graduation event in London. I then met with two individuals from the Constructions Skills Certifications Scheme. It was a very productive meeting with the organisation which works with small, medium and large construction contractors. We talked about construction apprenticeships and how to move forward to encourage more apprenticeships in this sector. My role as Apprenticeship Ambassador is giving me some fantastic opportunities and I am determined to do all I can to raise the profile of apprenticeships.

On Tuesday, I was back in Burnley for the homecoming of members of 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. As the sun was shining, the crowd welcomed the troops home from their six-month stint in Afghanistan. It was a very proud moment and a chance for us to pay our respects to the amazing troops who are a real credit to the area. It was a great atmosphere with many proud faces lining the streets.

Thursday was an early start for my trip to Norway with international energy company Statoil. It gave me the opportunity to see the potential engineering work for the UK at some of their major developments. It was interesting to hear of the $11bn projects which equates to a lot of engineering!

I wasn’t able to make it back for Saturday’s advice stall outside M&S but I am grateful to Bill Brindle and County Coun. Margaret Brindle for stepping in to speak to people in the sunshine and gather some casework issues.

On Sunday, it was a glorious day for the Padiham Whit Walks and I was delighted to see so many people out walking. It was a great event and I thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air. I then went to Lowerhouse to watch some cricket and was pleased with the win our team had in what was a very good game.

On Friday, June 7th, Lowerhouse Cricket Club has dedicated the 20/20 Cricket Match for the Scanner Appeal. The initial response to the appeal has truly been fantastic. Last week, I incorrectly said Wilson’s car wash had donated £250, but it was £500. Veolia, our town’s waste contractor, has also donated £250 to the appeal.