Latest jobs figures shows the Government is letting down people in Northfield


This week’s figures showed a small fall in unemployment in my Northfield Constituency, and across Birmingham, that is welcome. But behind the figures we see the chronic levels of long term youth unemployment in the area continuing to rise. More and more people under the age of 24 have been out of work for over a year. 

We urgently need action to get local people into work. This is why Labour’s call for a compulsory jobs guarantee is so important for the long term unemployed.

But it’s not only people who are unemployed who are feeling the pinch. People on low and middle incomes are also being squeezed by a cost of living crisis on one hand and ill thought through cuts to important local services on the other.

That’s where my Climb Project comes in – both to help address some of the current problems faced by people in the South West Birmingham area, and to put a framework in place to build opportunity and foster local growth.

Today (18 October) I brought together local businesses and community groups together at the second meeting of the Climb Project. Mark Barrow, of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), set out some of the initiatives being taken forward by the LEP and the importance of Climb in ensuring that the voice of South West Birmingham is heard. The meeting also heard from Birmingham City Council about progress towards a major Climb Jobs Fair and a pilot project to tackle long-term youth unemployment in the Weoley area.

Following a presentation from the National Careers Service, we also discussed how to improve local skills, boost apprenticeships and create better access to job opportunities for local unemployed people. Members of the Climb Partnership agreed to work together to develop better local employment access centres in the area.

If you are a local business, a third sector or community group, or a public agency operating in the Northfield area of South West Birmingham, please do get involved in Climb by getting in touch.

 You can view the latest local unemployment statistics here: Northfield Unemployment – September 2013

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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