Positive foundations

Mark Lancaster MP
Mark Lancaster MP

Figures show there are now a record number of jobs in Britain, says Mark Lancaster MP.

We have taken another step towards meeting the ambition set by the Chancellor for full employment. For every job that is created, it means another family will have greater economic security and the prospect of a brighter future.

The long-term economic plan, as set out by the Chancellor has five salient points; reduce the deficit; cut income tax and freeze fuel duty; create more jobs; cap welfare and reduce immigration and deliver the best schools and skills for young people.

All of which are key to setting the economy back on track. Milton Keynes is already seeing results. With the drop in the claimant count, the number of people claiming benefits has dropped by 771 claimants since March last year. A great achievement.

Truancy in Milton Keynes has also fallen by 26.8per cent since 2010. Allowing our children to get the best education is crucial for continuing growth and development of the city.

Not only is education a concern for our young people, but what work can they expect once they have completed and gained qualifications. Volkswagen Group, based in MK, who I visited a couple of weeks ago, is doing tremendous work to promote apprenticeships.

I also did work experience with Sainsbury’s and talked to some of its apprentices. Another excellent MK based scheme.

This is exactly the type of plan needed. In order to keep our young people in MK, their needs to be the work for them to do and the opportunity to turn that work into prosperous careers.

Not only do apprenticeships benefit young people. They have a palpable reward for businesses as well.

Last year’s figures show the financial benefit to businesses to MK North was £2.6 million. If that isn’t reason enough to start up your own apprenticeship scheme in your business, I don’t know what is.

There is still much more to do and families are facing pressures on their budgets. But given the progress that has been made, it only supports the argument we have made all along, that the only way to see rising living standards is to grow the economy. We are starting to see the results from these tough measures. Let’s keep going.