Finance (No. 2) Bill

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 3:28 pm on 1st April 2014.

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Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Conservative, Watford 3:28 pm, 1st April 2014

My right hon. Friend makes a valid point. That is another benefit. That is another way in which setting up a business is a public service.

Many of the things that the Government are doing involve not only the Treasury, but other Departments. I mentioned the pension changes, which relate to the Department for Work and Pensions. There are also changes in skills and education. The new university technical college in Watford completed on its property in Colonial way today. That has been put together by David Meller of the Meller Education Trust, who has several projects in the area, and myself. It will provide pre-apprenticeship education for businesses in the area that have jobs and that want trained people.

The UTC is sponsored by the Hilton hotel group, which is based in Watford. In fact, it runs the world from Watford. Everyone in Watford thinks that they run the world from there, but Hilton actually does. For the sake of clarity, people should understand that that excludes the United States, the rest of the world being a region of the United States in many people’s perception. The important point is that such firms are thinking, “If we want skilled employees to build up our business, we need them to be trained from quite an early age.” Hilton and Twin Technology, which is an IT company, are the two main sponsors of the UTC. They helping to design the courses because they are prepared to guarantee that there will be work experience and apprenticeships for people who come through the college. The Government have helped to facilitate that through the Budget and the Finance Bill.

In the dream world of the Opposition, they say, “Hey, everybody should get a job and it is guaranteed for a year.” No one has explained to me where those jobs will come from. I saw people working in the park as a result of the last Government’s attempt at that. People were taken on for a year to help the park keeper, but the job disappeared because it was not really a job. I am pleased that this Government have done their best to avoid that trap.