Women in Employment

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 13th May 2019.

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Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

How many women have entered employment in (a) Northampton- shire and (b) England since 2010.

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The UK female employment rate has never been higher. The latest figures show that there are over 12 million women in employment in England, which is almost 1.4 million more than in 2010. My hon. Friend asks about his constituency. I can give him the figures for the east midlands, where there are 109,000 more women in work since 2010. The number of women claiming unemployment-related benefits in Northampton- shire has dropped by 28% in the last five years.

Photo of Philip Hollobone Philip Hollobone Conservative, Kettering

Against the background of records levels of employment in the Kettering constituency, will the Secretary of State confirm that, whether someone is male or female, young or old, able or disabled, employment prospects in Kettering have never been brighter?

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I can confirm that employment prospects have never been brighter in Kettering, particularly with the strong advocacy of such an excellent Member of Parliament.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

The question of women’s employment is very important to me. Is the Secretary of State’s Department doing long-term planning? Has she seen the recent research from Sheffield University and King’s College London that says that the very areas that voted leave will be the hardest hit post-Brexit, with a 17% to 20% decrease in GDP? Is her Department getting ready for this terrible situation?

Photo of Amber Rudd Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

I would like to reassure the hon. Gentleman that we are ensuring that we are prepared for any situation, whether that is leaving the European Union or changes to the workplace in general. We are working closely with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to ensure that we are prepared for changes to employment structures, and I have been making some comments on that issue recently to ensure that the necessary training is provided in the workplace in the private sector as well as the assistance that we can give.