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Secretary of State visits Alstom in Stafford to find out more about skills, investment and exports

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Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, was welcomed to Alstom in Stafford to hear more about the company's commitment to the town and to the UK.

Welcomed by Steve Burgin, Alstom's UK President, Dr Cable met some of the company's Stafford-based apprentices at the company's innovative Welding School at its Lichfield Road site. He then moved on to see the company's transformer facility, the only one of its type in the UK, to hear more about how the factory has been at the heart of a number of recent overseas contract wins.

Dr Cable's final stop was to meet staff at the company's new production line for electricity transmission that will be used to connect offshore wind farms to the coastline, and to find out more about Alstom's search for new employees across a range of positions.

"We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State to three of our Stafford sites, and to show him some of the great work that we're doing right here in Stafford" said Steve.

"It was important to us to highlight to him the work we're doing to develop the skills of our people while also demonstrating the expertise that has seen us win a number of major export orders over the past 12 months.

"We were also able to show Dr Cable some of the major investments we've made in Stafford, work that reflects the orders we've won and also our expansion plans which will also result in more local jobs."

With around 2,000 employees, Alstom is Stafford's largest employer. The company has major facilities for both its Thermal Power and Grid businesses in the town, including the UK's only large-scale transformer manufacturing facility.

Alstom currently has around 150 open vacancies in Stafford and, once it has finished recruiting for 2013, it will also have around 60 apprentices in the town (out of a UK total of 103 apprentices).