Unemployment in Milton Keynes appears to be bucking the national trend and the latest figures for the two months since December show an increase in claimants for the borough.
Despite unemployment figures falling elsewhere in the country, an extra 800 people have been forced to sign-on in Milton Keynes since Xmas.
MK Labour Leader Peter Marland said, “It is deeply disappointing to see unemployment levels begin to creep up again in the city. We have some fantastic businesses in the city but it still remains a tough climate for many people. The government were far too complacent in the Budget last week. We need co-ordinated action by MK Council and the government to nip this rise in the bud.”
Labour Parliamentary spokesperson Andrew Pakes said, “Of course an overall fall in unemployment is to be welcomed but this does not tell the whole story. Despite increasing business confidence in the city, here in Milton Keynes the rocky nature of the recovery has seen over 800 extra people face unemployment since Christmas. The government is still far too complacent about the tough nature of the recovery and its impact on families struggling with rising costs.”
Labour believes Milton Keyes Council should be taking a more ambitious approach to boosting skills in the borough and working with business to keep unemployment levels down, including:
- Small business rates should be cut.
- The skills shortage needs to be addressed.
- The cost of living in MK is too high for both business and workers.
- The number of new homes has to increase
- International owned companies must be given confidence that the UK will not turn its back on Europe.
- MK Council needs to be more involved in attracting new jobs and investment.
Andrew Pakes also expressed dismay that the Government is cutting skills funding for Milton Keynes College at a time when youth unemployment is creeping up again. He added, “It makes no sense to be rolling back training for young people when unemployment levels are still a worry. I remain worried by the Government’s short-sighted decision to cut skills funding for 18 year olds at Milton Keynes College.”
Cllr Marland concluded, “It is clearly worrying that people are losing jobs and that MK appears to be bucking the national trend."