To suc­ceed we must be am­bi­tious

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - SPEAKER’SCORNER - Cal­lum Robert­son FRSA, Youth and Stu­dent Of­fi­cer, Peter­bor­ough Lib­eral Democrats

Ask me my three main pri­or­i­ties and I will tell you, ed­u­ca­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and ed­u­ca­tion. Th­ese now fa­mous words are those of the for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Tony Blair. Adored in some quar­ters, hated in oth­ers, he did, to his credit in­vest in ed­u­ca­tion.

The am­bi­tion of get­ting 50% of stu­dents into univer­sity is a good am­bi­tion. Not only so­cially but also eco­nom­i­cally. In economics, in­vest­ment such as in a new univer­sity is a sup­ply side pol­icy, th­ese aim to in­crease the pro­duc­tive po­ten­tial of an econ­omy. Th­ese poli­cies will in turn, in­crease well-paid jobs in Peter­bor­ough and make our eco­nomic growth sus­tain­able.

The aim of this new “tech­ni­cal univer­sity” is to equip peo­ple with the skills needed to work in Peter­bor­ough and its ex­pand­ing econ­omy to make the growth work for all. Lib­eral Democrats have al­ways placed ed­u­ca­tion at the heart of our agenda, we hope to help peo­ple not be en­slaved by poverty, poor life chances or hav­ing the mis­for­tune to be placed in a so called “sink school”.

Peter­bor­ough has had prob­lems with its ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem for a while now and it is abun­dantly clear that in­vest­ment in in­fras­truc­ture, teach­ers and equip­ment is needed to help boost not only at­tain­ment but, cru­cially, well­be­ing too.

So back to the univer­sity, the idea of this is to en­able lo­cal peo­ple to gain skills re­quired to by lo­cal em­ploy­ers. This will help not just eco­nomic growth but the life chances of our cit­i­zens. In help­ing young peo­ple gain the nec­es­sary skills to grow their own chances we are do­ing not only our young peo­ple a ser­vice but also help­ing our­selves in the long term.

For too long, politi­cians of all creeds and colour have of­fered one-trick so­lu­tions to our prob­lems as a so­ci­ety, whether it be Mr Farage and his un­healthy ob­ses­sion with Brussels, Mrs Thatcher with her right to buy (a scheme that is great in the short term but has led to a chronic short­age of coun­cil hous­ing) or Jeremy Cor­byn with his eco­nom­i­cally il­lit­er­ate spendathon.

The truth with so­lu­tions to prob­lems to quote Sir Vince Ca­ble “if it is sim­ple it won’t be ef­fec­tive and if it is ef­fec­tive it won’t be sim­ple”.

The risk of in­creased pres­sure might be off­putting and in the short term might be dis­ad­van­ta­geous, but in or­der to suc­ceed as a city we must be am­bi­tious, and in or­der to achieve we must take risks.

I am will­ing to put my neck on the line here and say that this univer­sity will pay for it­self ten­fold and it’s a chance we can­not af­ford to over­look now.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.