Press release

Rebalancing the economy: Private sector jobs and growth

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Britain's business leaders have today demonstrated the private sector's confidence in the British economy by pledging to create thousands of UK jobs in 2011 and beyond.

The pledges come as the Prime Minister holds talks with major employers in Downing Street to focus on private sector job success stories and what more the government can do to enable employers to get Britain working again.

300,000 private sector jobs have already been created over the last 6 months alone and the pledges made today are further proof that jobs are being delivered in the private sector as we rebalance the economy.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

We can only get our economy back on track by creating a climate in which the private sector can grow and develop, creating jobs and opportunities for people across the country. This year the Government is determined to help deliver many thousands of new jobs and I’m delighted that the companies joining me today are part of that.

Across a whole range of areas you’re going to see the most pro-business, pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda ever unleashed by a government. Its time we looked forward to a positive, strong, confident Britain. By developing the right skills and jobs I am determined that the many not the few will share in the country’s prosperity.

Notes to editors:

A list of companies attending the meeting and their commitments on job creation are below. All queries about company job pledges should go to the organisation direct. 

Private sector job commitments


Judith McKenna, chief financial officer of Asda, said:

As we announced in November, Asda has committed to creating the 7,500 jobs in our stores, home shopping business and through the conversion of Netto stores. In addition we will create 15,000 retail apprenticeships giving young people a much-needed step onto the career ladder and give 15,000 14-16 year olds their first taste of the world of work through work experience placements.


Amec CEO Samir Brikho said:

AMEC will be active in the recruitment market again in 2011 as we were in 2010 during which we recruited over 4,000 people (1,400 of whom were in the UK). We are an international business operating in over 40 countries and currently have around 1,000 vacancies worldwide, nearly half of which are in the UK. With the current workload and anticipated future contract awards we would expect our recruitment activity to continue in 2011.

Balfour Beatty

Ian Tyler, Chief Executive, Balfour Beatty, said:

We are committed to investing in the careers of young people. Our UK apprenticeship programme, which currently has over 300 young people progressing through the scheme, and our three-year graduate training scheme are two good examples of this. We will continue to recruit in 2011 and expect to take on around 200 graduates in the UK.


Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw said:

By the end of 2011 Centrica / British Gas plans to recruit over 2,600 additional staff. These will include well over 1,000 jobs in renewables, smart metering and insulation, and over 500 apprentice engineers as well as new jobs in sales, IT and customer support. In 2012, we are planning to recruit a further 1,400 ‘green collar’ jobs. Many of these new jobs are underpinned by Government policies to enable the Green Deal, smart meters and new low carbon power generation.


Martyn Wates, Deputy Chief Executive of The Co-operative Group, said:

We are committed to opening 300 more food stores over the next three years creating 7,000 customer-facing jobs, with 1,000 new jobs coming on stream in 2011. The Co-operative Apprenticeship Academy will begin recruiting school leavers in the course of 2011, with 2,000 places available over the next three years which is a sign of our renewed investment in the nation’s younger generation of workers.


Paul Venables, Group Finance Director at Hays, said:

Over the coming years it is the private sector which will be creating the bulk of new jobs in this country. All our focus must be on supporting a healthy, flexible and vibrant private sector economy because that will deliver the employment opportunities we need.

InterContinental Hotels Group

Chief financial officer Richard Solomons said:

We’re creating around 1,000 jobs in the UK in 2011 and 3,000 jobs over the next three to four years as we open the 37 new hotels in our development pipeline. Hotels offer a quick and flexible way to get people back into work. These are jobs with real prospects for progression. Unemployment levels are the highest in the kinds of jobs needed in the hotel industry from bar staff through catering assistants to hotel porters. The nature of hotel work offers parents the flexibility to balance work with family life.

Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Dr Ralf Speth, said:

Jaguar Land Rover is determined to grow significantly over the next few years by expanding our strongest-ever vehicle portfolio. Tata - our parent company - is totally committed to this growth strategy. Confirming that we would maintain three manufacturing plants in the UK was a fundamental element of our growth plans. We also took the decision to create 1,500 new jobs at our Halewood operation and to recruit an additional 1000 engineers. Additionally, Jaguar Land Rover is boosting advanced technology and innovation in the UK through a £100m partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group, as part of annual investment in product creation that well exceeds £1billion.

John Lewis

Charlie Mayfield, Chairman, John Lewis Partnership, said:

John Lewis Partnership has invested heavily in our business throughout the recession, creating over 4,000 new jobs last year alone, and planning to create a similar number again in 2011. We continue to back our plans for the long term, investing in new stores, refurbishing existing branches, e-commerce and improving our infrastructure.


Kingfisher group finance director Kevin O’Byrne said:

B&Q will be continuing to invest in its workforce this year offering apprenticeships and leading the way on NVQ qualifications. Beyond our stores we will be investing in our supply chain network including a new distribution centre in Swindon. Outside B&Q, our Screwfix business will continue to open new trade counters. Our two UK businesses expect to create several hundred new jobs between them this year. In addition, our broader capital investment is projected to rise this year as a sign of our confidence in our UK businesses.

Marks and Spencer

Chairman Robert Swannell said:

In 2011, Marks and Spencer will increase its UK space growth from 2% to 3% which will provide significant job opportunities. In addition, our Marks and Start programme will give over 700 people who face real barriers getting into work - the homeless, single parents, disabled and the young unemployed - a crucial first step into employment.


Jill McDonald, CEO of McDonald’s UK, said:

At the start of 2010 we employed 80,000 people and by the end of the year we employed 85,000. This year I am delighted to announce that we expect to create a further 3,000 jobs. These are good jobs with prospects - jobs which will allow people to develop and give them the opportunity to gain qualifications from NVQ’s to Apprenticeships to Foundation Degrees and rise up the career ladder.


Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft UK said:

In 2011, Microsoft expects its Britain Works programme to generate 4,000 new jobs, in addition to the 9,000 new jobs created since launch in 2009. Microsoft’s Britain Works does two things.  Firstly it creates new jobs in the form of highly skilled apprenticeships and opportunities for entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Secondly it provides IT training to give people the right skills for existing vacancies. Microsoft’s apprenticeships train unemployed young people from Job Centre Plus as technical support staff employed in our partner network, with support from the National Apprenticeship Service. In addition to the technical support apprenticeship, new technical sales and software development apprenticeships will launch in Spring 2011.

Mitie Group

Ruby McGregor-Smith, Chief Executive, MITIE Group PLC, said:

We make significant investments in training, development, recruitment and retention each year. In the financial year to 2010 our workforce grew by around 10% and we invested over £4m in training - it’s our aim to continue to build on this track record in 2011. In addition, MITIE is one of the largest employers of trade apprentices in the UK with well over 400 apprentices.


CEO Dalton Philips said:

Morrisons has today announced that it will create 6,000 jobs this year - 5,700 through its store opening programme, and 300 through its expansion in manufacturing. We also plan to open a new depot in Bridgwater which will employ over 1,000 workers when it opens in early 2012. We are committed to the skilling of our new recruits - we already have the largest accredited training programme in the UK and will have trained 100,000 of our workers to a level consistent with five good GCSEs by the end of 2011.


Sainsburys chief executive Justin King said:

Our ambitious expansion plans mean we will create 6,500 jobs this financial year, making a real difference to communities across the UK. We recognise the importance of doing more than simply creating jobs, and this is why we are committed to providing our colleagues with an unrivalled range of training and development opportunities such as our award winning apprenticeship programme.


Shell said:

Shell will continue to invest £100s of millions in the North Sea oil and gas in 2011, sustaining employment in one of the UK’s major industrial sectors. Shell’s UK and global businesses will also support jobs in the UK through the several billions we will spend in 2011 with UK suppliers, including on project development for our operations around the world.


We are well on track to create 9,000 jobs across the UK in this financial year and a similar number or more next year. These are quality jobs in retailing, management, construction, IT, logistics, green technology and many other areas, and our commitment to training and development boosts social mobility. We invest in every region and since 1999, we have opened 31 Regeneration Partnership stores which have created more than 4,000 jobs for people who had previously been long-term unemployed.


Graham Smith OBE, Managing Director, Toyota Motor Europe, London Office, said:

The UK Burnaston-built Auris Hybrid has sold well and our current volume demand is higher than the original sales forecast. Since November we have worked overtime to meet the demand and the increase has been sustained. As a result we plan to increase the speed of our production line and need to hire a number of agency staff starting this month”.