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Sir Peter Luff has bid a fond farewell to Parliament after he made his last ever appearance in the Chamber of the House of Commons today. Parliament dissolves in the very early hours of Monday 30th March and from then Sir Peter will no longer be the Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire.

After many years of campaigning to get more young people inspired by science and engineering, Sir Peter chose Business, Innovation and Skills Questions to make his final remarks.

Sir Peter asked Nick Boles, the Minister for Skills and Equalities,

“What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of steps taken by his Department to encourage more young people to obtain qualifications leading to careers in engineering.”

The minister, Nick Boles, replied,

“Apprenticeships starts in engineering and manufacturing technologies have increased by 52% since 2010. In 2014, there was a 10% increase in new students studying engineering at university, following an 11% increase in 2013.”

Following up Sir Peter said,

“I welcome that very positive response from the Minister. However, given that continuing shortages of engineering apprentices and graduates will cost the economy as much as £27 billion a year in lost output, undermine our competitiveness and threaten our security, can he think of better words to inspire a new generation of young men and women to become engineers than those of the railway engineer who wrote: “I am an engineer. I serve mankind by making dreams come true.” ‘

The minister responded,

“It is entirely fitting that my hon. Friend should conclude his parliamentary career on such a poetic note and championing a cause he has consistently championed….We have a huge amount to do, but inspiration is the key. We need to inspire young people that engineers are the people who go out and build things and make things happen in our society. We need many more of them.”

After leaving the Chamber Sir Peter commented,

“I am pleased that my final remarks in the chamber were on an issue that I have campaigned on tirelessly for many years now. I agree with the minister that there is still a huge amount to do but things are definitely going in the right direction and more young people, particularly girls, are beginning to get interested in engineering.

“It is now down to MPs in the next Parliament to carry on this campaign.”

On his final day in the House of Commons Sir Peter finished by saying,

“I want to thank all you who voted for me, supported me, challenged me, brought your problems to me, and shared your hopes and fears with me over the last 23 years. I am so grateful that I have been able to represent this county as a MP for so long.

“There are many things that I will miss about being an MP, but the time is right for me to move on. I wish whoever is elected the Member of Parliament the best of luck for the future – it really is an honour to serve this county.”


Picture shows Sir Peter asking his final question on Thursday 26th March

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