Productivity: Rural Areas

Part of RAF Valley: Funding and Employment – in Westminster Hall at 5:11 pm on 14th October 2020.

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Photo of Cherilyn Mackrory Cherilyn Mackrory Conservative, Truro and Falmouth 5:11 pm, 14th October 2020

I congratulate my Cornish colleague, my hon. Friend Scott Mann, on securing the debate. I endorse everything that he said, and I will not repeat too much. However, I particularly want to endorse the Camelford bypass, which I know he has been working tirelessly on since he has been in this place.

To live in Cornwall is to have to diversify—there is no doubt about it. When someone moves to Cornwall, there is no walking into a well-paid job in a bank or anything like that. One has to think about how one will learn a living. Most people who live and work in Cornwall have one job and one or two businesses, or even more. That is how one earns a living.

Last night in the Chamber, we spoke extensively in the debate on the Fisheries Bill. One point that I wanted to make—we were cut short on time—was about how we get more fisherman into their boats. As part of a rural injection of money, I would like to see, if possible, an apprenticeship scheme for fisherman, so that young guys and girls coming out of college who are not particularly academic, but who have good watercraft and have lived by the sea all their lives, are attracted to the industry. We could help them get their own boats, so that we start to see a resurgence of the inshore fleet, rather than such young people having to leave and go elsewhere.

We have a fantastic college in Truro—the Truro and Penwith College—which is doing a fantastic job at trying to match courses to skills. It has taken on the T-levels, and I know that is the college’s move going forward. It is doing a brilliant job at it. We also have the University of Exeter and the University of Falmouth, which are doing a fantastic job on the academic side of things.

I see that Cornwall is moving towards the green recovery. We have lithium and green hydrogen. We have plans for floating offshore wind. This morning I was talking to Starbucks, which is now making its reusable cups in Cornwall. It is happening, and all it needs is just a bit of imagination and initiative from the Government to see how we can spend the shared prosperity fund and tailor it to what our areas actually need.