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Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson has joined local manufacturers to gather views on boosting sk

The Labour MP, who is also the Shadow Business Minister, visited top robotics firm CNC in Aintree. Touring the factory floor, Bill Esterson MP said,

"We have an outstanding local network of innovative, high-tech small businesses right here in Sefton. CNC is a great example of this, building robots for international car manufacturers, aerospace and even the Olympic Games. CNC and companies like them hold the key to securing the high-skill, high-wage economy of the future.

"We have a problem here in the UK. We have weak productivity, and we are one of the only developed countries where living standards for people in work have fallen while the economy has grown. The answer lies in an industrial strategy that focuses on what firms like CNC need: investment in skills, and support for high-tech research and development. Supporting smaller, innovative companies properly would mean a more prosperous local economy. It would open up exciting, well-paid career paths for young people.

"Sadly too many hi-tech companies are held back because the Conservative government does not invest enough in research & development. It does not support industry-standard apprenticeships. The UK's 5.4 million smaller businesses face real problems over access to finance, and access to skills.

"This is about securing the kind of economy in which businesses and the workforce prosper. To achieve this we need industry-standard apprenticeships, and better access to those apprenticeship schemes for smaller businesses. Labour has already committed to boosting research and development investment to 3% of GDP, and the government must commit to this now.

"There is a huge opportunity on the horizon for Sefton this year. With the first-ever elected Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, we can pursue an industrial strategy of our own. Labour candidate Steve Rotheram is already planning major reforms around apprenticeships and new technology, and I am delighted at the prospect of working alongside him to make it a reality."

CNC’s Company Secretary, Madina Barker said, ‘We would like to thank Bill Esterson for his visit to our facility on Friday 24th March, where we were able to discuss the impact of the Government’s Industrial Strategy, Green Paper. We appreciate that Bill listened to our concerns and provides a strong voice for SMEs in parliament’.

Bill Esterson MP continued, "I should like to thank CNC Robotics for telling me about their success and for sharing their exciting ideas about what they and other businesses can contribute to our area and to our country. I have already written to the government to pass on what CNC told me is needed and I hope that the government listens to the experts in our business community right here in Merseyside."

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