Discussions around healthcare, youth services and how people can become more active citizens of the town were just some of the topics posed by students from West Nottinghamshire College to MP for Mansfield, Ben Bradley.
Around 50 students who are studying on the uniformed protective services courses at the college’s Derby Road campus, welcomed Ben for a question and answer forum and to find out more how he got into politics originally.
Ben gave the groups an overview of some of the major things he focuses on as MP for Mansfield, including the importance of the population having the right skills for the right jobs and bringing in investment for jobs and further and higher education in the area, covering a range of industry sectors.
The students, who are aiming to progress on to careers within the British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Police Force, and Fire and Rescue Service, quizzed the MP on matters such as how to become an active citizen in Mansfield, how Ben could help local healthcare to be improved and better staffed, making the subject of domestic violence an easier matter to be discussed, and what career opportunities may exist in the future at Nottinghamshire Police.
Mr Bradley emphasised his desire to see that there will be long-term investment in job opportunities in the area which will be fulfilled by the right skilled people who are now benefitting from high-quality education at the college and at Nottingham Trent University’s satellite centre in Mansfield.
He encouraged students to look at engaging in Youth Parliament as a great way to get their voices heard for their age group and to definitely get involved in politics if they have an interest, even if they’re still below the age of consent for voting.
Ben said: “As ever, I enjoyed talking with the students. I always do when visiting West Notts. I particularly find that when talking to young people in this 16-18 age group you get really insightful thoughts and questions from young people who are engaged and interested in their communities.
“I’m grateful that these guys are pursuing roles in public service, like the police, fire service or the forces – all great careers – and I hope some will serve in Mansfield. It was good to hear them asking about more ways to engage with and support our area during their studies too.”
Other areas that Ben addressed which are key to his role were a more connected healthcare pathway which integrates all services together to ensure the public are cared for through the entire system, improvements in the town centre and how to make it a more attractive place for business, retail and leisure, and the need to get more high-quality teachers to attend Mansfield’s schools and the planned additional funding this sector should be receiving.
Advanced diploma student Finlay West, 17, said: “I feel that talking to Ben helped us to see how our community works from a different perspective. He answered our questions with thorough responses and even pushed us to ask more questions. I’m really grateful that we were given the chance to speak with him.”
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