Former MP will lead skills board of the Solent LEP

NEW APPOINTMENT Former Portsmouth North MP, Sarah McCarthy-Fry
NEW APPOINTMENT Former Portsmouth North MP, Sarah McCarthy-Fry

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A FORMER Portsmouth MP has been asked to head up part of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Sarah McCarthy-Fry was MP for Portsmouth North between 2005 and 2010 and before that was deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council.

She has now, however, been appointed chairman of the Solent Employment and Skills Board of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

A business woman herself, Sarah is currently finance director of GKN Aerospace based on the Isle of Wight.

She said: ‘The Solent has a strong pool of skilled workers, especially in the marine, aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors. We are also lucky to have such fantastic universities and education institutions.

‘It is important to recognise that we still face significant challenges in producing the skilled workforce tomorrow’s Solent economy needs in order to thrive and I look forward to working in my role as ESB chair to ensure local people have the skills required to take up the new job opportunities that colleagues at the Solent LEP are working to create.’

The Solent LEP does the work the now-defunct Regional Development Agency did in setting the area’s economic agenda and creating jobs.

Chris Allington, Solent LEP board director with responsibility for skills, said: ‘It is fantastic news for the region, its young people and its businesses that someone of Sarah’s experience and stature is on board. We have ambitious targets to deliver the skills business needs to grow.

‘We want to work with enterprises, education and training providers and employers to help ensure provision meets local needs and Sarah is the ideal choice to drive this crucial project.’