The Conservatives have brought about an incredible increase in job creation. More and more people are getting back into work and are able to provide for themselves and their families.
Unemployment is down from the 8% this government inherited to just over 5% and falling rapidly, with recent figures showing a staggering 24% fall in the claimant count in just one year. We have a record number of people in work, with 2 million more people working than in 2010.
We have felt the benefits of this here in Reading. According to recent figures, in Reading East unemployment is now below the landmark figure of 1,000 for the first time in many years. Youth unemployment, in particular, has been halved since the last General Election in 2010. Overall, the number of people claiming unemployment benefit in Reading East has fallen dramatically since Labour left office and David Cameron’s government took over.
When I was your MP, I took direct action, working with businesses, careers advisers and other organisations to bring jobseekers together with employers to discuss the job opportunities on offer in person. I have set up and organised 10 “Reading Job Fairs”, giving thousands of jobseekers the chance to meet local employers and get advice. My 10th Reading Job Fair at the Hexagon in October 2016 was the biggest and best yet, with over 80 businesses and organisations attending and a broad array of employment, apprenticeship and training opportunities on offer. Attendees could also access free specialist support and advice sessions aimed at boosting their employability.
I continue to support policies that ensure Britain’s economy is placed on a responsible and sustainable footing that gives businesses the confidence to grow and create jobs. But I am also doing everything I can on a local level to ensure that we help every local person who wants a job to find one. The world-class businesses located here and the huge investment we have seen will make Reading the place to come to, to live, to do business and invest in for decades to come. I want people in Reading East to receive the full benefits of the opportunities on offer.