Westminster Diary - October
I recently held a skills summit at RAF Marham to highlight the many amazing jobs available at the base. ˜Fantastic, varied and rewarding” were just some of the descriptions used to highlight the excellent employment opportunities available at Marham. An investment programme of £520 million is currently underway in preparation for the arrival of the first Lightning jets. This is a fifth generation aircraft which has cutting edge technology and consequently will need a suitably skilled labour force to maintain it and fly it. I want to see as much of this multi million-pound investment benefitting the local community and I want the young people in this county thinking about RAF Marham as a long term career choice. Engineering is in high demand so STEM subjects, science, technology, engineering and maths, are vital in securing employment in this area. With global companies like BAE Systems and Rolls Royce situated at Marham, there is significant demand now for engineers to work with the Tornado aircraft and in the future, the Lightning jets. SERCO and ISS also recruit for the base with staff needed in a range of jobs including catering, administration and maintenance. The RAF have a massive recruitment and expansion programme currently underway and are keen attract more women into the service. Attending the summit were leaders from education, business and local councils and all recognised that Marham is a great asset to the county. But more needs to be done to promote the jobs as well as ensuring Norfolk has the skills base to supply Marham with home grown talent. With 3600 military and civilian personnel, plus 1200 contractors and 5000 dependents, RAF Marham is in essence a small town and as such requires all the necessary work force to keep it operational. The majority of staff travel from out of the county to work at the base and as one of the largest employers in this region, generating in excess of £100 million per annum for the local economy, the message is very much – “jobs available right here, right now“ so let us ensure Norfolk residents benefit as much as possible.