MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

JOBS will undoubtedly be one of the nation’s hottest topics for a long time to come.

As the Government seeks to rebalance the economy following 13 years of overspending, there will undoubtedly be uncertainty in the job market.

As we all know the public sector will shrink somewhat, which will undoubtedly lead to painful job losses and a need for re-skilling.

This, I am the first to acknowledge, will be extremely difficult for some people and is something that, I can assure you, the Government takes no pleasure from.

Looking at the situation in practical terms though I know the key to rebalancing the economy is to stimulate employment in the private sector.

That’s why I talk an awful lot about and meet with a lot of businesses.

I want to ensure they are taking the right measures to create growth and feed in their views to the Government about how the state can help.

I want to help attract as many jobs as possible to Fylde to give residents every opportunity to find a successful, fairly-paid and rewarding career right here on their doorstep.

With that ethos in mind I was at Springfields nuclear site last week – one of the area’s largest employers – to catch up with management and unions and discuss how they are moving forward.

As you may well be aware the site was taken over by new owners Westinghouse not too long ago and the company are currently one of two firms vying to design and build new nuclear reactors to help to meet Britain’s energy needs long into the future.

If the reactors go-ahead as expected, Springfields will, it is hoped, provide the fuel to power at least some of them.

And I was pleased to hear from the management that the commitment of the new owners to the actual Springfields site is huge.

Millions of pounds has and will continue to be invested in making it one of the most important sites in Europe and this will, of course, create jobs.

Supportive, constructive unions help ensure workers rights and safety are well-maintained and, without wishing to jinx anything, the site has gone a very long time without a work related accident – a record which everyone involved can be very proud of.

All signals point to a very positive future and the company are now working towards securing final stage approval for their AP1000 nuclear reactor design which is absolutely key.

I will continue to support them, and other businesses, in any way I can.

Boosting the private sector economy is vital to the nation’s economic recovery.

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