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David Cameron tells York workers "we're heading in the right direction"
PRIME MINISTER David Cameron visited North Yorkshire today, where he spoke about growth in the economy being driven by the private sector - days after North-East councils warned public sector cuts were threatening growth for the region.
Mr Cameron visited York-based business Portakabin, as the building manufacturer announced an expansion of its operations into Europe.
Speaking before an audience of 250 employees he delivered his message on positive signs in the economy before taking part in a question and answer session.
“Businesses are investing more, building more and employing more. Actually Yorkshire and Humber is the area of the country outside London where the number of people in work is growing the fastest,” he said.
“There are 110,000 more private sector jobs than in 2010. There’s a whole lot of work to do, we’re not out the woods yet, but we’ve turned the corner and we’re heading in the right direction.”
Earlier this month, local authority leaders in the North-East warned George Osborne’s spending review had hit the region disproportionately, following his announcement of a ten per cent cut in spending and a further two-year council tax freeze for English councils from 2015.
The Association of North East Councils (Anec), warned that £350m worth of cuts to their funding will hamper economic growth and hurt the vulnerable.
Durham County Council’s Labour leader Simon Henig questioned the fairness of the review, with previous funding settlements benefiting councils in the South over those in the North.
Speaking on the Government’s approach to tackling poverty, Mr Cameron said: “There are 87,000 more people in employment, in work, than there was in 2010.
“There are 52,000 fewer households where no one works. I think that’s the single most important thing. We also have to make sure the benefits system works effectively for the poorest households. Then we must make sure the markets are working properly and prices are not rising fast and inflation is relatively low.”
He also spoke about the importance of apprenticeships as a viable career option for young people, saying schools should be better at promoting them: “I think we have to do a bit better in schools in explaining to children what the career options are. Most teachers have been to school, then university and they’re very familiar with that process.
“They don’t always know what apprenticeship schemes are out there.”
He said companies such as Portakabin could explain the value of apprenticeships to pupils in school.
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