I hope you are all well this week and enjoying some good weather. Westminster has been busy recently and I am very pleased that we have announced a £483 million investment to transform schools across England, so that every child, no matter where they go to school, can learn in the best possible environment. As we deliver on our promise to level up education, we will ensure no child is held back from achieving their potential because of the condition of the school they attend. That is why we are making £483 million available to nearly 1,200 schools across England through our Condition Improvement Fund, helping them improve their classrooms and facilities while becoming more energy efficient – building on our School Rebuilding Programme which is already underway with the first 50 projects confirmed, as part of the £1.8 billion we are spending to improve school buildings this year alone. We are giving our schools the investment they need so students and staff can learn and work in the high-quality classrooms they deserve.
As many of you know, before I was elected as your MP, I was a postman in Rock for twenty years. It was a good job, and although there were very early starts, I can assure you it keeps you in good shape! Royal Mail is a great company to work for and there are opportunities to advance through the ranks. Royal Mail has launched a new Postal Apprenticeship scheme for would-be postmen and women. The new scheme will offer up to 1,000 Level 2 Apprenticeships which will be based at delivery offices across the UK.
Many senior Royal Mail employees - including their current Operations Development Director began their careers through the former Postal Cadet Scheme which ceased in 1996. This new apprenticeship scheme will be one of the largest single apprenticeship programmes in the UK and will bring fresh talent into Royal Mail. All applicants who successfully complete the scheme will be offered a permanent role.
The Postal Apprenticeship scheme is designed to provide applicants with the required skills for a successful career at Royal Mail, as well as a broad range of lasting transferable skills and experience. The scheme builds on the long-running apprenticeship programmes already in place in fleet, engineering and other parts of the business. The scheme opens for applications on Monday 28 June – more information can be found by visiting the Early Careers section on www.royalmailgroup.com. The initial cohort of 500 apprenticeships will begin in September 2021. We will make a further announcement in relation to the remaining 500 apprenticeships at a later date. I do hope some of my North Cornwall constituents will apply, and if you do, please drop me a line and let me know how you get on.