SIOBHAN BAILLIE: We need to invest in green skills

The Stroud MP’s weekly column.

Party conferences are now over so I get to have a week at home in the constituency doing visits, seeing my Stroud team and fitting in the odd playgroup for baby GiGi before parliament returns.

Juggling a job and a toddler is something I realise many parents have to do, so hats off to you all – I know the challenges.

At the conference the Prime Minister’s team in No 10 asked me to speak on the main stage about the green industrial revolution as I have been doing so much on green skills. I am really pleased that the Government has noticed how often I’m talking about this.

The main reason is I want to always champion Stroud in this area. It is a great place for innovation and environmental businesses and this work needs to continue to be nurtured if we are to keep our 2050 net zero target.

Green skills are now really starting to emerge into the jobs landscape. We need to train people young and old for things from fixing electric vehicles and retrofitting homes to engineering and the science behind future renewable energy supplies like tidal, for example.

It was good to speak about these issues at the conference. As a further Education Ambassador for the Government, I will be watching working closely with ministers, and locally with SGS, to make sure we have the investment in courses the country needs for green skills.

In Manchester, I also spoke at a conference panel event with the farming minister for the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) about hedgerows and looking after our countryside. This is of course another way to meet our carbon targets – by planting more hedgerows and trees.

Well done to Shorts Boxing Academy in Stonehouse for putting on a night of Boxing at Archway school at the weekend. I went with my family and it was packed and so much fun.

I’m working with the local county councillor to press the county council to consider turning the old library into a venue for community use. We hope that Shorts will be able to use the space. It’s lovely to see a family with such passion about a sport and helping others.

Research from NHS England has found nearly 20% of the most seriously ill from Covid from July to September were pregnant unvaccinated mums.

All studies show the Covid vaccines to be safe for pregnant women and their babies, so please make sure you get the jab and don’t delay. The number of the most seriously ill was small but the proportion that were pregnant is of concern. Grabbing the jabs will potentially avoid a lot of problems.

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