In February 2012 there were 5,983 people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) across Southend West and Rochford/Southend East. By October 2014, the number had fallen to just 2,746 – a 54% reduction.
There was even better news for young people. During the same time period, the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming JSA fell from 1,630 to 730. This 55% decrease means there are 900 fewer young people seeking work in Southend West and Rochford/Southend East.
Southend West MP David Amess believes that local youngsters are benefitting from apprenticeship schemes being run by many Southend businesses.
Speaking to Southend Rising, Mr Amess said: “I welcome this wonderful news of a drop in youth unemployment. This can partially be accredited to the Government’s long-term economic plan which shows that since 2010, the deficit has been reduced by a third, the private sector has created more than 2,000,000 new jobs, and 400,000 new businesses have been created. But this is also thanks to the huge number of local businesses in Southend West, who recognise the value that young people can add to their enterprises.
“We will be celebrating the Small Business Saturday on 6 December. This is a great opportunity to congratulate all small enterprises in our constituency on achieving this spectacular result in getting a record number of people on the jobs. Southend is a first class place to start a business in.”
Chancellor George Osborne, talking ahead of today’s Autumn Statement, said: “I certainly congratulate Southend businesses on the apprenticeship schemes they run. Apprenticeship schemes number two million in this Parliament and we aim to take that figure to three million in the next Parliament. That is all towards achieving our goal of full employment. We have the highest number of people in work, but we want to go further still.”
Mr Osborne is expected to announce a review of business rates today, to help High Street shops and other local retailers compete with internet giants like Amazon.
Earlier this week, the Government gave the go-ahead for a new business park at Southend Airport, which is set to create an additional 6,000 jobs, on top of 1,000 new jobs within the airport itself.
Find out more about Small Business Saturday in Southend this Saturday.