Getting more people back to work
Thornbury & Yate MP Luke Hall writes for the Voice
NEW jobs figures recently released have shown that the number of people in work in the UK has risen by 35,000 between February and March.
As we look to recover from the pandemic, one of the Government’s top priorities to help get people back into work.
In the summer of 2020, as the UK came out of the first COVID-19 lockdown, the Treasury announced a plan for jobs, with a clear goal: to protect, support and create jobs.
The plan has included a £2 billion Kickstart Scheme, which has already supported 152,000 young people into work; a £2.9 billion Restart Scheme, helping over 1 million long-term unemployed people find work; and a Lifetime Skills Guarantee, offering 11 million adults a free qualification. With a record 29.6 million people now in work, it is clear that the plan is working.
Here in our own local community, the new statistics show that South Gloucestershire is continuing to outperform much of the country.
In our area, just 1.8% of people aged 16-64 are currently receiving out-of-work financial support, while across the UK as a whole, the average claimant rate is at 4.2%.
Supporting jobs and the local economy is a vital part of our positive plan for the community, and so I am delighted that these new figures show that the number of people out of work in our area is now down by 914 compared with this time last year. There are now 914 more people with the security of a job in South Gloucestershire, and the district consistently ranks as one of the lowest areas for unemployment anywhere in the UK.
Due to the UK’s incredible vaccination programme, and the £400 billion package of support that the Government made available, our economy has been remarkably resilient.
By being able to fully open up as early as we did, we are now seeing promising signs of recovery, with economic growth now exceeding predictions.
New GDP figures show that our economy grew by 7.5 per cent, reaching above pre-pandemic levels. This is the fastest economic growth of any country in the G7.
These latest statistics confirm that the plan for jobs is bringing economic security to millions of workers, more trade for businesses, and greater prosperity throughout the country. We cannot stop now, if we are to achieve our ambition of recovering from the pandemic in the strongest way possible.