Welcome to the IPT’s monthly Fellowship roundup for May. Each month we aim to display all visits we have organised between parliamentarians and businesses, explain what they did there and how the visit benefitted them in their role.
We tend to cover a wide range of sectors. For example, this month saw Fellows learn about skills and apprenticeships, emerging technology and aerospace. Each visit is part of a wider educational programme that is bespoke to the individual needs of each parliamentarian.
Autonomous vehicles: driving ahead
Royston Smith, MP for Southampton Itchen, visited Move_UK – a venture jointly funded by Government and industry to expedite the timescale and cost of validating autonomous vehicles in the UK.
He was at their site in Greenwich where Direct Line and Move_UK are working in partnership to carry out research on insuring driverless vehicles and developing the legal framework for autonomous driving.
Royston is using his Fellowship to learn about the nuts and bolts of industry and is particularly interested in road capacity and what might change following the introduction of automated vehicles. During the visit he was able to take a test drive in an autonomous vehicle and see a visualisation of data collected during his journey.
Opening the Gate for Future Employment
Lord Young of Norwood Green, who has completed a full Fellowship already and is now doing a post-graduate Fellowship; continuing his learning about industry, went to Gateshead College to find out more about their apprenticeship programmes. This is the central theme for Lord Young’s post-graduate Fellowship who used to work as the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills and Apprenticeships. He was also an apprentice himself for GPO Telecom and is an active Apprentice Ambassador.
Whilst touring the Gateshead College’s campus, Lord Young met various departments including IT, Healthcare and Early Years. He met with students currently doing apprenticeships and some of the companies that are partnered with the college to provide them. He learnt not just about the various apprenticeships available but also the broader support supplied by the college. Lord Young was impressed with that he saw, describing it as a “great example of Vocational Education”.
Baroness Bloomfield Browses Beddington’s Energy Recovery Facility
Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist is focussing on alternative sources of energy and the new technology that exists around them. Green energy, and sustainability are featuring heavily in the press currently, with the UK recently enshrining in law a commitment to become carbon neutral 2050. She went to Viridor’s site in Beddington to learn about how they are turning non-recyclable waste into energy.
The site is officially known as the ‘Energy Recover Facility’ or ERF. Baroness Bloomfield toured the site, including the control room and processing hall, and learnt about how the Viridor process up to 275,000 tonnes of waste into 26MW of electricity, which powers the facility itself and supplies over 22MW to the National Grid.
Nigel Evans, MP for Ribble Valley, visited Boeing
Baroness Neville-Jones visited Adobe
Royston Smith MP also visited Thames Water
Bill Esterson, MP for Sefton Central, visited QinetiQ
Huw Yardley, House of Commons Clerk, visited the UK Dementia Research Institute
Margaret McKinnon, Parliamentary Official, visited Aspiring Solicitors and ITV