North Norfolk is an area of outstanding natural beauty with many innovative and diverse businesses. I want to support those businesses to flourish, grow and prosper whilst encouraging more investment and growth into the area.
North Norfolk is heavily reliant on agriculture and tourism as its main industries, which in itself employs thousands of people across the constituency. However, I would like to see a drive to create more skilled jobs in the manufacturing or engineering sectors, where currently there is a lack of broad ranging opportunities.
In terms of a vision of the future, we only have to look at the hotbed of IT and financial service roles in the Cambridgeshire region. By comparison North Norfolk offers very little in these sectors but why couldn’t we become known for our web developers, software writers and programming talent, if we had investment in the broadband infrastructure to support it? With so many talented young people in the region there is no reason that instead of losing our young people to gain higher skilled jobs out of the region, I want to see the talent stay, thrive and prosper in this magnificent area.
The retail sector is currently under significant pressures, from the threat of online shopping to the continual cost pressures of rent, rates and employee costs. Mindful of this I want to encourage our High Streets to be sustainable and see them supported as they witness a seismic shift in consumer habits. I would encourage the Government to take action to introduce an internet sales tax to combat the price ineffectiveness that bricks and mortar shops are contending with and press for law changes to ensure internet giants such as Amazon pay their fair share of tax into our treasury. High Streets have more than just an economic benefit, they are pillars of our communities, hubs for our society and more should be done to safeguard the importance of High Streets in our country, rather than watch their gradual demise.
Lastly, I believe passionately in our young people and that given fair opportunities they should have the chance to lead strong fulfilling careers. Apprenticeships are key to achieving this and through my own work I have been fortunate enough to have witnessed first hand how many talented young people have benefited from being employed on an apprenticeship programme. I will work hard to encourage local employers to embrace the apprenticeship scheme to enable young people a step on the career ladder and at a national level I will encourage the Government to make it compulsory that organisations of a certain size must offer apprenticeships as a means to encourage and enable future generations of talent.