In previous weeks I’ve spoken in-depth about the impact that Levelling Up is having in the Borough and in particular Radcliffe.
With over £36 million being invested into regenerating Radcliffe through the creation of a new civic hub in the heart of the town offering community facilities, a library and new leisure facilities as part of a £20 million bid from the Levelling Up Fund. Added to the decision the Education Secretary made back in February to approve the much-needed new High School for the town, Radcliffe is now getting the attention that it deserves.
With the improvements in Radcliffe being coupled with investment in Bury with the market and transport interchange also getting significant investment, we can clearly see the attention that Boroughs like Bury are now receiving from national Government with millions being invested to improve the lives of residents.
Whilst talk is rightfully focussed on Levelling Up and what it means in terms of regeneration, my view has been that if we are serious about levelling up, we need to start with education. Whilst we’ve had many announcements during the year on funding and investment like schemes to improve the numeracy levels, this week saw the Skills and Post 16 Education Bill coming to the House.
As the Chairman for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on T-Levels, I highlighted the benefit that T-Levels are going to provide in not only educating young people but providing them with real on the job experience in their fields of study.
T-Levels recently celebrated their 1st birthday and are due to be rolled out even further, with the number of courses and providers increasing quickly. This will give young people new, exciting opportunities to learn and gain real world experience over the coming years.
Here at home Bury College are expanding their T-Level courses and I was fortunate enough to see students in action recently when the Skills Minister visited. At Whitefield’s College of Rugby students are not only gaining their qualifications but achieving further qualifications such as first aid and refereeing courses whilst learning in a working rugby club.
I know some colleges locally have been concerned that BTECs would be disappearing, but the Education Secretary made clear this is not the case but with the addition of T-Levels, students will have more choice enabling them to choose the course that’s right for them.
We’re making progress with Levelling Up not only our towns but our education system, giving young people the best start in life so that they can reach their potential whilst making Bury South an even better place to live.