March 2019: Your Local MP
Chris Skidmore writes for Emersons Green Voice
I WAS delighted to make my first speech as Minister of State for Universities at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, one of our many higher education institutions helping to educate our next generation of students, continually pushing the boundaries with ground-breaking research, and working closely with businesses to create jobs and help solve some of the greatest challenges of our time. As we prepare to leave the EU, I feel it is important to set out a new vision for our future education, knowledge and skills in a post-Brexit Britain.
It is more important than ever that our higher education system delivers for all students, of all backgrounds and circumstances, to ensure they receive a top-quality education and a fulfilling university experience that will enrich their lives and future careers. This work will include enhancing student mental health support and improving students’ experience of healthcare and housing support. As the new Universities Minister I am committed to ensuring our innovative higher education sector remains one that works for everyone, and one we can be proud of in generations to come.
Locally, I was also delighted to visit the University of Bristol to learn more about their world-leading research and to witness first-hand how recently announced government investment is being used by the University to develop micro robotic devices that will help repair our underground pipe network. Projects like this one, at one of the key higher education institutions in our region, will help develop technologies which will deliver real-world benefits, boosting job prospects and productivity across our region.
I am pleased that after a long campaign, and working locally and nationally, we have been able to secure serious investment into our High Streets, with Kingswood set to benefit from new digital training facilities for residents and young people, as well as new street cleaning tools, and a cash boost to help stabilise our historic Tabernacle site. This investment also comes as the Chancellor recently announced a new Future High Streets Fund to invest £675 million. Kingswood High Street is just the start and I will continue to campaign for all our local High Streets to receive support in future.