Towns Fund and Telford's new maths and digital skills hub
I am delighted that the Government has approved Telford’s bid for £22.3million through the Towns Fund. This money will go towards the redevelopment of the station quarter and the construction of a new Maths and Digital Skills Hub at the heart of our town.
The Hub, which will be closely involved with Telford College, will provide opportunities for young people and the ability to retrain.
It has been a hugely positive experience to be a member of the Towns Fund Board, collaborating with stakeholders and other community leaders, making the case to Government for our town and successfully securing funding for Telford’s future.
I am very grateful to the former Secretary of State for Communities (Robert Jenrick MP) for his support for Telford and the Board. He was able to see for himself the impact this funding will have for our community when he visited Telford recently and met with our Board members.
Telford’s £22.3m is a huge sum and will play a vital role in Telford’s future and its ability to bounce back post-pandemic. Skills training and technology will be the engines of new growth and jobs and will confirm Telford’s position as an economic hub fuelling growth across the West Midlands.
There is real enthusiasm for the Government’s levelling up agenda and the benefits it can bring to Telford. It is crucial that local authorities embrace these opportunities and that they work constructively with Government and representatives of local people.
I have also strongly encouraged the Council to submit bids for the Levelling Up Fund, another Government initiative designed to invest in town centres and high street regeneration, local transport projects and cultural sites.
The Kickstart scheme, launched in September 2020, is already creating jobs for young people aged 16 to 24 on Universal Credit in Telford.
Kickstart is primarily aimed at ensuring that 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment can retrain to improve their prospects.
The Government will offer employers £1500 per placement for setup costs, whilst also contributing 100% of the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours per week.
Telford College was an early applicant to the scheme, and also helps small businesses access the scheme by acting as a gateway provider. For more information about applying for the scheme through Telford College please click here.
This is in addition to other measures announced by the Chancellor to help young people into work. Across the country, a total of £1.6 billion will also be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships to help people looking for a job.
Businesses will be given £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25. This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the Government already provides for new 16-18-year-old apprentices and those aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
Photo above: Lucy Allan MP with apprentices from BAE Systems in Telford