A ‘skills crisis’ is damaging future prosperity in Cambridge -; with employers having to turn to foreign workers to plug the skills gap, says MP Daniel Zeichner.

Speaking in the Commons, Cambridge MP Mr Zeichner said the local enterprise partnership recently conducted a survey which reported that 91% of employers had problems finding workers with the right skills, while the Federation of Small Businesses agreed skills shortages were the biggest issue its members face. He highlighted cuts in funding and pressures on staff at Cambridge Regional College, while praising the excellent work being done, but warned that heroic efforts by staff would be undermined by continuing cuts.

The MP highlighted the successes of Marshall Aerospace in encouraging more young people to go into engineering and praised local sixth-form colleges -but warned that colleges had ever-diminishing resources, threatening future success.

Mr Zeichner accused the Government of misdiagnosing the barriers to economic progress telling Conservative MPs that the real ‘pull factor’ attracting foreign workers to Britain wasn’t the benefits system but the failure in Britain to train young people to do the jobs we need. He challenged the Government on the underfunding of Cambridge’s schools and the “near destruction of the careers service”, demanding a “major change of tack” to address this problem.

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