MP calls on Boris Johnson to tackle unemployment in the West Midlands

An MP has urged the Prime Minister to tackle unemployment in the West Midlands.

Emma Reynolds
Emma Reynolds

Emma Reynolds said the Government had failed to help Wolverhampton residents find work and called for more to be done.

The MP, who represents Wolverhampton North East, said it was "unacceptable" and "complacent" that unemployment rates were rising.

Figures from last month showed the UK rate of people unemployed and claiming out of work benefits was 3.7 per cent – compared with 8.4 in Ms Reynolds' constituency.

The MP said in the letter: "I am writing to urge you and your Government to do more to tackle high unemployment in the West Midlands.

"The West Midlands has a proud history as the UK's economic powerhouse – it was at the centre of the Industrial Revolution and ever since then has been home to world-leading manufacturers, both large and small.

"Yet both of your Conservative predecessors as Prime Minister pursued policies which starved our region of vital investment and presided over sustained job losses. This has to change."

Data from the House of Commons Library shows that Wolverhampton's unemployment rate has been more than double the national average every month since January 2015.

Ms Reynolds said the spending review, in which Chancellor Sajid Javid made a speech, was a failed attempt to highlight unemployment.

"That is unacceptable and complacent. Nor is it good enough to point to national figures that are meaningless to people's everyday experience in Wolverhampton and the West Midlands," she said.

"Your Government needs to do more to support areas like my constituency with above average levels of unemployment.

"Therefore I am calling on you to put measures to tackle high unemployment in the West Midlands."

Ms Reynolds called for reversing "damaging cuts" to future education colleges, provide free bus travel for under 25s, commit to the expansion of Birmingham Airport – rather than Heathrow.

She also called for money raised through the apprenticeship levy to be given to councils so they can help people find work.

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