Figures released this week showed that the number of people in Hastings and Rye claiming the key out of work benefits was down by 31% since 2010. This is over 1,000 more local people now earning a good wage and developing their skills.
This is part of a national trend where the number of people in work is at a record high with over 3 million more people now having the security of a regular pay packet compared to 2010.
I welcome the steps being taken by the Government to help move those seeking employment into work faster, to make sure work pays, and to support businesses to invest and expand.
Locally, we have seen East Sussex County Council announce a £1 million funding boost to help companies set up and grow. Also, Locate East Sussex, which is based in St Leonards, has had its contract to deliver our county’s inward investment service extended by three years. This service offers free guidance on how to expand your business and access funding. Since its 2014 launch over 820 new permanent jobs have been created in the county and the local economy has received a £30.7 million boost.
But there is still more to do.
That is why I have held six Jobs and Apprenticeships Fairs with my seventh taking place this month. This event brings together local people seeking employment with businesses and organisations with vacancies to fill. For many who are unemployed it often remains challenging to find the right opportunities. This is where I know these events help. As well as putting jobseekers in touch with employers there will also be careers guidance on offer and advice on job applications. This year’s fair will take place between 10am and 3pm on Friday 29 September at Sussex Coast College. I urge everyone seeking a new opportunity to attend.
Recently I paid my second visit to the Hastings office of PeoplePlus – an employment support and training services company – to see first-hand the great work they do to support people into sustainable and rewarding work. Also, I am organising a Disability Confident event for later this year to help improve the local employment opportunities available to disabled people.
Employment is key to the regeneration and growth of our towns. As your MP it has always been my priority to help ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make the most of their talents and abilities. I will continue to do all I can to champion our towns as places to invest, grow a business and create jobs, and to make sure that jobseekers have the support they need to move into employment and realise their potential.