Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chinese Investment and London Margate Manston International Airport

I have been rather busy recently, so my apologies for belatedly, wading into the recent announcements and news items in our local media. Particularly concerning the recent agreement, apparently done with a group of Chinese companies involving local business, and as with all big deals around here it seems Seeda (South East England Development Agency) involvement is necessary.

First off is it me, but does anyone actually know any specific details, as to what all these high-tech Chinese companies have agreed to, could someone explain why it's necessary to involve Seeda, and does this mean huge taxpayer subsidies (as I suspect).

Now the hint or suggestion seems to be that many new high-tech jobs will be created, I just wonder since the details are so sketchy, even to the extent that no one is able to give details of the exact nature of businesses, being attracted, what if any provision, will be made in terms of giving local people the skills necessary to benefit. The reason I asked, is because I am acutely aware that currently, vocational training in Thanet is currently aimed at a very low skill levels.

Still I am confident, that local agencies particularly Seeda, will have given this a great deal of thought, reference to light assembly and distribution, always makes me think of low skills and even lower wages.

The Thanet Times last week seemed to hype this up a bit, we have reference to high-tech firms, for once I hope their right because it would be rather a tragic waste, of effort particularly by civil servants from Seeda travelling to China just to attract more low-paid low-skilled jobs.

Finally as with many other local people, I was rather worried to see that in BBC's report on Margate, Manston somehow appeared to have been merged with Margate, I hope it doesn't become London Margate Manston International Airport.

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