Low-skilled Jobs

Oral Answers to Questions — Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Christina Rees Christina Rees Labour, Neath 11:30 am, 30th June 2015

What recent estimate he has made of the proportion of jobs in the economy which are low-skilled.

Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Labour, Great Grimsby

What recent estimate he has made of the proportion of jobs in the economy which are low-skilled.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

We are focused on increasing the number of jobs at all levels of skill and on investing in 3 million apprenticeships, which will help people to improve their skills and command higher wages.

Photo of Christina Rees Christina Rees Labour, Neath

The Welsh Labour Government have created more than 17,000 job opportunities for 16 to 24-year-olds to develop skills and earn the minimum wage through their flagship scheme Jobs Growth Wales. Some 82% have been taken on by private firms, which has led to apprenticeships, further education and permanent work. Jobs Growth Wales has also enabled more than 270 young entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Does the Secretary of State have plans to roll out similar schemes this side of Offa’s Dyke?

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

We welcome efforts by all parts of the UK to grow jobs and apprenticeships, and we have our own policies here. We will produce 3 million apprenticeship starts at all levels over the next five years, but we welcome anything else that the Welsh Government do to create jobs and apprenticeships.

Photo of Melanie Onn Melanie Onn Labour, Great Grimsby

Thanks to Labour’s groundbreaking commitment to tackling climate change, investment in wind energy in Grimsby has created much needed high-skilled jobs in our local economy. With 25% of our young people not in education, employment or training, support for that industry is essential for my constituents’ future, but the Government have now announced the removal of subsidies for onshore wind. What effect does the Minister expect that to have on investor confidence in the offshore wind sector?

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

It is not my area, but as the hon. Lady said the cut in subsidies is for onshore wind. Her constituency is focused on offshore wind, where the Government’s support is committed and going up. I welcome the high-skilled jobs that that support is bringing to her constituency, which has seen a 38% fall in the number of people claiming benefits since 2010.