It is National Apprenticeship Week, and I am calling for employers of all sizes here in Swindon to apply for generous Government cash incentives to help them take on apprentices.

Apprenticeships are a great way to get ahead in a wide range of exciting industries and they also play a vital role in delivering the skills that employers and the economy will need in order to recover after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Through the Government’s Plan For Jobs, we have taken unprecedented steps to protect, support and create jobs, including driving more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities to help get our economy moving.

To support this, employers are being offered £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25 and £1,500 for each newly-recruited apprentice aged 25 and over.

I strongly encourage as many employers here in Swindon as possible to apply now and take advantage of this generous offer.

Whether you are an employer or someone looking to start an apprenticeship, you can find more information here:

Last week I took part in the remote Wiltshire Community Foundation Loneliness Workshop. It was nice to see so many local charity organisations represented including Swindon Seniors Forum, Wiltshire Sight, Community First, Prospect, Age UK, STEP, Headway, Christ Church, Care Home Volunteers, Big Breakfast, Zurich Community Trust, Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Tree House.

There is no doubt that loneliness has increased as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and I was pleased to hear more about how so many of our excellent local charities have adapted their way of working and been able to reach out to those who need it the most, providing support and reassurance.

If you are suffering from loneliness and isolation, or know somebody who needs support, please get in touch with me by emailing

Crime and anti-social behaviour can have a huge impact on our local community and as your MP I am determined to deal with the issues affecting us here in Swindon. People rightly expect the Government to invest in the police and increase the number of officers. This is a priority of mine and I am encouraged by the progress we are making in recruiting an additional 20,000 officers by 2023. On top of this, I welcome the additional £20 million-worth of funding to help crack down on neighbourhood crimes. This funding forms part of the Safer Streets Fund which will ensure we have a localised and targeted plan to combat crime and anti-social behaviour.

I continue to work closely with Wiltshire Police and the Council to ensure our area is a safe place for all of us, but I am keen to hear your views on crime in your local community. Please take a few moments of your time to complete my online survey and share your views.

My crime survey can be found here: