Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce and Member of Parliament (MP) for North East Manchester, Hon. Audley Shaw, says the provision of education and training opportunities for young people is his top priority.
He was addressing a meeting with Custos of Manchester, Hon. Garfield Green, and MPs for the parish, held in Williamsfield on Thursday (September 24), to outline plans for the development of Manchester.
Mr. Shaw said he intends to accelerate a second-chance education programme that he started for young people as well as establish a training academy.
He noted that the education initiative is partly funded by the HEART/National Service Training Agency (NSTA) Trust, with evening classes held at the Holmwood Technical High School.
He said that youngsters are making use of the training opportunity.
As it relates to the training academy, he informed that a site has been identified for the facility, which will be an NTSA institution.
Mr. Shaw told the meeting that building the capacity of citizens through education is key to wealth creation and national progress.
He said that more than half of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is spent in this area.
“The opportunity that we have now is to concentrate on developing our young people. We cannot create wealth in the pocket until you create wealth in the brain,” he argued.
“The best way to help your citizens and your young people is to lift their ambition, help them with an education, because money will come and go, but a good education is here to stay,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Shaw is urging farmers to make use of a recent government pilot programme to provide small irrigation systems in order to increase agricultural productivity.
He said he will also give focus to repairing farm and community roads.
MP for South Manchester, Robert Chin, for his part, reported that among his priority areas are healthcare, education and road improvement, while MP for North West Manchester, Mikael Phillips, said he plans to give immediate attention to expanding Internet service, so that more children can have access to virtual learning.
Member of Parliament for Central Manchester, Rhoda Crawford, was absent.