Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MP in Call for Talks as the Gets More Arid; Dozens in the Hunt for Every Job That's Going

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MP in Call for Talks as the Gets More Arid; Dozens in the Hunt for Every Job That's Going

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicola Weatherall

THE North East is facing a jobs crisis, ministers and academics have warned, as it is revealed 55 people are chasing every job in one area of the region.

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery is to demand urgent talks with the Government this week to ask what it plans to do to avoid parts of the North East being deserted.

"If they don't do something we will be left with ghost towns and no-go areas," he said. "I am hoping to meet ministers this week to ask what they are prepared to do. "I'm hoping to see the Business Secretary Vince Cable although I'm not confident I'm going to get anywhere with him, having dealt with him in the past. But that's my job, I've got to try.

"There's very little industry coming in. There's very little in terms of job creation and very little in terms of small to medium-sized enterprises being developed.

There are no financial incentives."

It is his Wansbeck constituency which has the worst figure when it comes to the number of job vacancies per job seeker. The figure of 55.4 people for every job is the second-worst in the whole of the UK behind Clackmannanshire in Scotland, which has a figure of 70.1.

In 2006 the equivalent figure for Wanslandscape beck was just five, representing a staggering 1,000% rise.

Throughout the North East the statistics make for grim reading. In South Tyneside, there are 19 people for every job; in the Wear Valley it's 18.4 and for Castle Morpeth it's 16.3.

Professor John Tomaney of Newcastle University, an expert on regional development, said: "We are facing a jobs crisis in parts of the North East which in many ways we expect to get worse before it gets better.

"What we have are people who are very far from the labour market. The economy is creating jobs but they don't have the skills for jobs so that requires training. …

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