On Friday I met with the Aldridge Industrial Partnership to discuss some of the details from this week’s Budget. It was clear from discussions that this year’s Budget is good for Businesses across Aldridge-Brownhills.

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2016 this week, I visited a number of local businesses in my constituency to meet with apprentices and trainees and hear more about the positive impact that apprenticeships have on individuals, business and our local and regional economy.

Since the General Election in May last year, 4,370 new apprenticeships have been created across Aldridge-Brownhills and this is welcome news. I am also pleased that the Government has ambitious plans to see a further 3 million apprenticeships created across the county by 2020 and I hope to see more here locally as part of this.

I was delighted to meet with some of the apprenticeships at In-Comm Training, a local provider of training and apprentices who offer a wide range of development programmes delivered in a real working environment.

In National Apprenticeship Week we should thank all those businesses, and organisations as well as our local colleges, for the contribution they make to our economy through developing apprenticeships, and for improving the diversity and skills base of the workplace.

Later on in the day I went on to visit Wienerberger to meet with local members of the UK Ceramic manufacturing industry. There is a long history of ceramics and brickmaking in our area and I wanted to learn more about what they do. It was fascinating to tour the site and see how bricks are made.