Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

#LoveOurColleges - Our brilliant FE colleges do so much to support young people’s skills and our economy

It’s great to be here in Rotherham, in the magna centre which is of course the plural of magnum which as every knows is the Latin for ice cream

And great to be at the biggest ever convention of the north...

... Boeing chose Sheffield as its first civil aerospace factory in Europe – with nearly half its employees taken on as apprentices... I tell you, there is no limit to the imagination, innovation, ingenuity and leadership in the North.

And I have a profound belief that talent and genius are uniformly distributed around the UK.

But opportunity is not, and that is why we need to level up across our amazing country, and we need investment in education, the giant precondition that determines whether you have the freedom and the confidence to make the most of your talent

So this government will give every child the world class education they deserve.

We are levelling up across the country

Investing an extra £14 billion over three years and increasing the minimum level of funding for every pupil in primary and secondary schools.

We’re backing the teachers who change our lives

We are putting up salaries for new teachers, funding pension increases, and giving teachers the backing they need to deal with disruptive pupils.

And we cannot afford any longer the chronic under-funding of our brilliant FE colleges, which do so much to support young people’s skills and our economy.

It is absurd that employers have been driven to import so much skilled labour from abroad, in large part because of the failures of vocational training in our own country.

We have a world class universities sector – we should be very, very, very proud of it - and it is time we aspired to the same status for our further education institutions, to give everyone the opportunity to express their talents.

And of course education is not enough on its own, you need to be able to connect with other people

To get that job interview, to find that customer...

... We have a new stronger town fund – a £3.6bn stronger town fund

So that local people can invest in libraries, parks, youth clubs areas, places to bring people together

And that kind of intervention cannot come, cannot be redirected, from central government

So let’s be frank about we’re trying to do, what is needed most of all in addition to the technology, the infrastructure and the education we’re suppling,

It’s of course local leadership.

Trusting people, to take back control and run things the way that they want to.

Because of course central government cannot abdicate responsibility, but only local champions can really make a difference for their towns and their communities.

I am the first Prime Minister since Clement Attlee to have been a mayor – and I know the transformative potential of local, accountable leadership.

Someone with the power to sort out what matters most to local people

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What we want to see in this region is towns and communities able to represent that gentlemen and sort out his needs, and whether it’s transport they use to get to work, or good housing – whatever it happens to be

Someone to drive big infrastructure projects, to boost investment, to wave the flag for the area and act as a local champion and say: “Come and invest here.”

But of course along with that power, comes responsibility and accountability.

And it’s time we gave more people a say over the places where they live.

We are going to do devolution properly. We are going to maximise the power of the north with more mayors across the whole of the north....

... That is how we level up and unleash the talent of the whole country:

  • Better education,
  • Gigabit broadband sprouting in every home
  • Reliable comfortable and affordable transport with someone accountable delivering your service

These are the pumping pistons that will drive the northern powerhouse

And that Northern Powerhouse is turning before our eyes into a new locomotive for the UK economy

Two centuries ago this region literally became the engine that propelled the world to new discoveries and new horizons – bringing people together, bringing countries together and bringing new opportunities for everyone.

That is what the Northern Powerhouse can achieve in the 21st century and this is a Government that will back you to deliver it.

Boris Johnson, Prime Minister

Taken from his speech at Convention of the North (13 Sept)

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