BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable is today visiting Hampshire with a pledge that the government will work in partnership with local businesses to deliver jobs and growth.

Dr Cable's first stop will be to officiate over the topping out ceremony of Fareham College's new Centre for Excellence in Engineering, Manufacturing and Advanced Skills Training (CEMAST).

The centre is being constructed on the Solent Enterprise Zone and will eventually train more than 600 apprentices and help develop technologies and manufacturing with local businesses.

Over £12 million from the Regional Growth Fund, Skills Funding Agency and Local Enterprise Partnership will enable the CEMAST project to help train the apprentices, create a Research & Development Centre to support local companies in the development of new engineering and manufacturing processes and technologies, and create or safeguard over 400 jobs in the Solent area. The centre will open in September 2014.

Dr Cable is also expected to discuss local economic opportunities with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership - the body charged with bringing local civic, academic and business leaders together to exploit local growth opportunities including the Solent Strategic Economic Plan - a £2.4 billion plan to drive economic growth in the Solent.

Whilst in Portsmouth the Business Secretary also met with representatives of BAE Systems at the Naval Base.