I was recently delighted to go to Heathrow to see the British Airways engineering facility where their aeroplanes are maintained.
The company has started 700 new engineers this year and is looking to recruit 800 more next year. After the Gulf War they stopped employing apprentices but have now restarted recruitment and in 2013 have recruited 300 commercial and mechanical apprentices. I saw maintenance work on a very large passenger plane.
I then had a meeting with the Airport Operations Association to discuss our airport capacity in the UK and need to increase it. Various schemes have been discussed which includes a third runway at Heathrow airport. For some MPs this would be the worst option but it is important a decision is made as we are losing business to airports on the Continent.
I recently passed on some questions to the Minister Jo Swinson following a meeting I had with sub-postmasters in Burnley. I eagerly await her reply. Many of the small post offices in Burnley are concerned about heavy losses made by Crown Post Office which is affecting the viability of their own business where they deliver a good service. It is a shame that, under the last Labour Government, so many small post offices were closed.
I also spoke at the Institution of Engineering and Technology at the Department of Business Innovation and Skills. The conference was to promote the importance of technicians, draw upon best practice and discuss pathways to higher education level qualifications in the workplace, within the Government’s skills agenda.
I then was straight up to the Northern Aerospace Forum at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel to see leaders of the aerospace industry being so positive about the future of industry and was delighted to speak here. Billions of pounds of orders are being received across the sector which is securing the future of thousands of workers.
I went to Heasandford Primary School for lunch. The majority of food was grown in the school allotment. I also attended the Lib Dem North-West Conference at Lancaster University.