Byline: Jenny Waddington
UNEMPLOYMENT minister Pat McFadden has said he believes in the capabilities of manufacturers and the automotive industries in Coventry and Warwickshire - despite the economic downturn which has left many facing real hardship.
The Labour MP has spoken exclusively to the Coventry Telegraph about his thoughts on the rising unemployment levels, the need for confidence in the British economy and the importance of opting out of the working time directive.
Latest unemployment figures showed that more than 20,000 people in Coventry and Warwickshire have joined the dole queue.
But the minister urged the region to remember that "we are still a country with huge economic strength".
Mr McFadden said: "The first thing we need to do as a government is ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past and give people a benefit cheque and then forget about them.
We need to make sure we retrain people so they can develop new skills. That is why the government is putting more money into JobCentre Plus and training schemes.
"The modern rule is not to protect the job …