On Friday, I met with representatives from all sectors of Thales UK that operate from their Bristol sites to discuss how their South West business is expanding. It was interesting to see how Thales UK are also involved in many civilian sectors, including increasing efficiency in on London Underground services and the Manchester tram.
Over the past few years Thales UK have reconfigured their graduate programme after their smaller apprentice programme proved an excellent asset to the company. It is great to see them recognise the value apprentices bring to the work force and offer alternative routes for employees to progress through the company.
I will be writing to local schools in partnership with Thales to encourage students to take up their 2018 UK Youth Rocketry challenge as part of a drive to get secondary school students to choose STEM subjects and to train as engineers. It is essential that we inspire the workforce of tomorrow at an early stage to allow us to stay at the forefront of defence, aerospace and space technology.