Jobs Minister dismisses ‘part-time myth’

Employment Minister Esther McVey has described claims that job growth is being fueled by part-time and temporary work as “scare stories” and “a myth.”

The jobs Secretary was in town to record an episode of BBC Question Time and prior to the recording visited G W Martin engineering works accompanied by the Conservative candidate for Eastleigh Mims Davies.

Figures have been released which show a drop nationally in unemployment and the latest data on Eastleigh’s jobseekers also shows that the number has fallen to it’s lowest recorded level.

In 2010 there were 2094 registered jobseekers, but last month this dropped to only 608 – just 0.8% of the working population – while 87% are described as ‘economically active’.

A spokesperson for Mims Davies told Eastleigh News that since the Conservatives took office in 2010 the number of jobseekers in Eastleigh had reduced by 57%.

Esther McVey (R) talks to staff at G W Martin watched by CEO Stuart Yalden and Mims Davies

Esther McVey (R) talks to staff at G W Martin watched by CEO Stuart Yalden and Mims Davies

Speaking to reporter Ryan Hewlett, Esther McVey described businesses like Martins’ as “the backbone of the country.”

 “We have had another good month for unemployment, we’ve got record numbers of people into work, 30.8 million.

“We have also got the unemployment rate at a six year low below six per cent.

“Job vacancies are at a fourteen year high 700,000 vacancies but more importantly of 80% those jobs, nearly two million, are full-time jobs

“75% are managerial, high-skilled and professional, so the scare stories you hear and the myths you hear about what sort of jobs they are?

“The vast majority are full time and professional.”

Also announced this week was an increase in average wages so Hewlett also asked the Minister if wage growth was good for employers.

McVey told him:

“As the country is doing better; as businesses are doing better; that has got to feed through to the employer.

“It’s good to have wage growth averaging now at two percent and set to grow by 3% to  4 % but at the same time inflation has gone down to 0.5% – to make sure that people really are feeling the benefit of the extra hours they’ve got.”

The Minister was taken on a tour of Martin’s shop floor by Managing Director Stuart Yalden and CEO Graham Martin.

Martin’s have been at the Bishopstoke Rd site for almost 50 years and pride themselves on being a family business – three generations of the Martin family have been involved and currently 44 people are employed there.

The company fulfills national and international contracts and say they have a full order book.

The company is also proud of their links with Eastleigh College and the Minister was introduced to some of the firm’s seven apprentices.

Stuart Yalden said:

“Finding the right skills is a real challenge we have a very skilled team and are looking to develop the skills of the people that we have so training is a very important part of that.

“Going out to market to find new skills as an expanding business is a challenge though at apprentice level we do get some very good bright people coming through from Eastleigh college.”

Yalden added that there has been a drop off in the number of skilled people who are available and who are in the middle of their career so the company was committed to up-skilling existing staff, but there was little government support for training older members of the workforce.

Graham Martin:"Engineering not about dirty hands in oil"

Graham Martin:”Engineering not about dirty hands in oil”

CEO Graham Martin said he was sceptical about claimed wage growth but both the CEO and MD agreed they ensured that they paid a competitive wage in order to attract and retain staff with the right skills.

Graham Martin said:

“We need skilled people in the country.

“Too many people have gone to university who should have gone into training for jobs which is why as a country we are bringing in so many skilled people from overseas.”

Martin also said he thought engineering failed to attract people because it suffered from an unglamorous image of “dirty hands in oil” even though much of the work these days involves the use of computer-controlled machinery and minimal manual handling.

Eastleigh Conservative candidate Mims Davies told Eastleigh News that she thought Martins was a “fantastic” business:

 “I’m pleased to be able to help promote their great work by bringing the employment minister here today.”

Davies said that if she was elected she would try to help businesses in the Town Centre by trying to find ways to ease road congestion.

Davies referred to the current Town Centre traffic levels and rush hour gridlock as ‘strangulatory’ and accused the current Lib Dem council leadership of “sitting on their hands and doing nothing.”

 “To keep the economy positive we need to do something about it.”

“The Town Centre is a worry, there has been a lack of leadership in driving footfall back into Eastleigh stores or to stop them relocating to out of town locations – which is against the National Policy Planning Framework.”

Later that evening while introducing BBC Question Time, host David Dimbleby described Eastleigh as “a key battleground in the forthcoming General Election.”

Once again, Eastleigh folk can expect to see many high profile visitors between now and May 7.

  6 comments for “Jobs Minister dismisses ‘part-time myth’

  1. January 24, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    Methinks the employment minister is out of touch with the real world…

  2. Rosie
    January 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Exactly! No coincidence either how politicians are always taken to a large Eastleigh engineering company and don’t go out and visit the rest of the voting area. There you can find all the true, non-recorded, unemployed – mostly women – who have been made redundant from, eg, large local and national financial services and other companies just before they hit age 50, especially women at middle or senior management level who still have a lot to offer an organisation.
    If the politicians opened their eyes, visited the right places and spoke to the right people, they might then start to come across the high numbers of local middle aged women volunteers. Also the “self employed” women who have been pushed by local Job Centres into making low income (or no income) “businesses” out of craft hobbies, because the Job Centres realised that those women wouldn’t be able to stay in their careers due to ageism.
    Job Centres work to get people off the “unemployed” statistics as quickly as possible and don’t care how they achieve that.
    This government has pushed many former mid-earning hard working middle aged couples into near poverty, when previously they were comfortably-off, largely because no financial assistance is given to couples, unless they have children, and one partner’s unused tax allowance can’t be used by the other (who might be paying higher rate tax on some of their earnings).
    The Conservatives and Lib Dems have, unsurprisingly, lost many of their core, long-term, voters (both here and in the rest of the country) – and no wonder UKIP has been so successful in the “Eastleigh” area!

    • Eastleigh Voter
      January 25, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      Don’t remember seeing a UKIP policy on employment or to that fact any other policies.
      Their Manifesto person got sacked!
      Seems UKIP is in free all disarray.
      UKIP won NO seats in the Borough elections last year.

    • January 25, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      I thought it was only men over the age of 50, who like me get thrown on the scrap heap but its women too eh? Well makes sense, human nature I suppose.
      During the six months I spent on JSA I attended many job interviews and every time the interviewer was younger than I.
      I have a feeling it has always been like this I just never noticed it before because I have never been over 50 before.
      Under current employment equality laws it is unlawful to discriminate against an applicant because of their age (gender, race, faith, sexual orientation) and although difficult to prove it’s not impossible – in 2010 I successfully took an employer to an employment tribunal alleging discrimination in the application process on the grounds of age.
      I understand though it is Ukip policy to scrap equality laws – indeed at the Oct conference Jane Collins announced that under a Ukip govt – in order to solve youth unemployment – employers would be able to discriminate in favour of (British) under 25 year olds.
      Current policy document says:
      `’Businesses should be able to discriminate in favour of young British workers.`’
      So presumably young foreign workers and old British workers need not apply.
      Previous Ukip documents indicate they would scrap all ‘EU’ equality laws but a lot of policy has changed and we will have to wait and see whats in their manifesto.
      I think employers have always discriminated in favour of fit,healthy,younger people and that won’t change anytime soon no matter who is elected.

  3. January 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Eastleigh has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and still falling.

  4. Rigel
    February 2, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    Whatever detractors might say about ‘hours worked’ , intern schemes et cetera I would like to say how great the lib dems are doing employing people, the coalition is fantastic also , everyone feels the vibe ! I know, we are seeing a renaissance of prosperity in the town centre look at the shiny new office at the end of market street.

    The streets are ringing with the laughter of comfortable fulfilled peopled busy building stronger communities.Remember our much maligned Local council are the ones to thank, saying that, whoever wins the election will, no doubt , be just as great at carrying on the works .

    We are blessed with a political system that is supremely fit for purpose and any anger I may have previously shown here has now left like the melting of winters icy snow , revealing a great faith that with Eastleigh’s finest at the helm , whatever opinions some naysayers have on the probity of the administration trust when I say

    No other set of people could know more about what they do for more money , nor could any other set of people do a job like they do for less

    May I also say to the ‘campaigners’ thank-you for your marvelous efforts helping to expose the ever-improving skill with which our government handles it’s numerous difficulties,

    In the elections I am going to support all the parties , they are all brill ! The lib dems are fantastic as are the torys , consistently statesmen of the highest calibre and labour are just knocking my socks of this year with their trendy feel ;

    and wow UKIP are going clean up if the people grab onto their coattails, all the candidates are great and we are so lucky to have elections .

    You’d think with all the forms they fill in the people could manage a few little slips of paper once a year or so , but no … the people are the problem , they just don’t give a hoot what happens to them and they are idiotically susceptible to charming but factless speech.

    Hey HO !

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