Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today visited businesses in the south-west to see firsthand the jobs being created and the people being helped back into work as a result of the government’s long term economic plan to back business and achieve full employment.
Since 2010, employment in the UK has increased by 1.69 million – more than the whole population of Somerset and Gloucestershire combined (1.14 million) – and has recovered to its previous peak in around half the time it took in the 1990s, after the recession.
The government has brought in a number of measures to help businesses grow and create jobs and figures published today show that, since its launch in April 2014, 725,000 employers have already benefitted from the Employment Allowance, which offers businesses and charities up to £2,000 off their employer National Insurance Contributions bill.
Over half of all eligible businesses have already claimed the Employment Allowance three months after its introduction – despite having up to four years to make their claim – resulting in around £500million of employer NICs relief.
The Chancellor said:
Creating jobs is a key part of the government’s long term economic plan and earlier this year I made a commitment to fight for full employment in Britain. Over the past year we have seen more people moving into employment than in any other year since records began and today, I have seen how the steps we have taken are supporting people out of long-term unemployment and creating new jobs.
“We are backing business and making work pay. This means cutting the tax on jobs and reforming the welfare system and what I have seen today shows this approach is working.
Beginning his visit to the region at Stroud Youth Centre, the Chancellor met with a group of young people learning skills for the workplace. Working with the company Prospects, the Centre provides a community service helping vulnerable young people gain the skills needed to enter or return to work, education or training.
Since its launch this year, the programme has helped 59 young people in Stroud and 397 across Gloucestershire.
The Chancellor also visited Byteback IT Solutions in Bristol which, through the government’s Help to Work programme, has been able to offer community placements for the long-term unemployed. Since its launch in April 2014, this tough new approach to tackling long term unemployment has resulted in 15,000 people already taking part in the Help to Work scheme.
Continuing his tour of the south-west, the Chancellor stopped off at The George Inn in Wells. While there, he met with the owner and their newly appointed chef who they have been able to employ as a result of the savings the pub has made by claiming the Employment Allowance.
He then visited the Ministry of Cake in Taunton. The company recently completed the purchase of a new site in Torquay and will be launching its Ministry of Pudding in September where it hopes to employ up to 35 people.
Image courtesy of Gioconda Beekman on Flickr, used under Creative Commons.