At one time full employment for our area seemed an unachievable goal but now it is within our grasp. In South Derbyshire we have seen unemployment fall steadily with the most recent figures for July showing there are now 391 people seeking work. With our existing local firms growing and new companies setting up here it is possible to see in the future that figure could reduce to zero.
These figures show how strong our local economy is. We have such a diverse range of businesses from car manufacturing to label printing which are all going from strength-to-strength.
Bombardier has recently landed a £1 billion contract to build 660 new carriages for the East Anglia rail service, a contract which will secure over a thousand jobs at the Derby factory for the next decade and beyond. But not only does this contract provide job security to Bombardier employees, it also ensures their fantastic apprenticeship scheme will continue to provide opportunities and training for our young people ensuring we have the skills we need for the future.
Last week Rolls-Royce, another world renowned brand, secured a £1.1 billion order for their famous Trent 700 engines to be used in 15 Airbus A330 jets ordered by ‘China Eastern Airlines’. This is such great news for the Derby based firm where many people from South Derbyshire work, it not only secures jobs and their apprenticeship scheme but also shows the world has confidence in goods built in the UK.
It is the success of our smaller businesses which has had the biggest impact on the fall in unemployment. Since 2010 more than 335 new businesses have set up in South Derbyshire creating numerous new jobs. As well as that many of our existing small and medium sized businesses have expanded with some exporting around the world.
The local fall in unemployment is part of a regional and national trend. July’s figures showed that those receiving unemployment benefit fell by over nine thousand the exact opposite of the predictions of the scaremongers who said voting for Brexit would result in immediate and massive job losses. There are now 31.75 million people in meaningful employment in the UK, up 2 million since 2010, the lowest it has been for over 10 years.
As we know from history jobs created by the state, either nationally or locally, at Council level, are not the answer. It is the private sector which creates the wealth and drives our economy to new heights and consumers demand for their goods and services which grow those businesses and generate the jobs people need.
The Government is committed to providing the best environment for businesses to thrive. This is why over the past six years we have implemented policies to boost investment and job creation, reducing corporation tax to one of the lowest rates in the developed world, freeing up businesses by cutting reams of unnecessary red tape, investing in infrastructure projects to meet the needs of local economies and a commitment to superfast broadband to ensure the whole of the UK is connected.
In South Derbyshire, as in the UK as a whole, we are definitely reaping the rewards of investing in these keys areas of development and supporting entrepreneurship. Theresa May’s new Government, in which I am honoured to serve as a Whip, will continue to build on this success and create jobs for all those who need one.
If the downward trend continues as it has over the last six years I am confident we can reach full employment and establish ourselves as THE heart of the ‘Midlands engine’.
(This article was originally written for the Derby Telegraph and the picture is from the Office for National Statistics).