Jobs and skills

Coronavirus community information: Black Country Chamber of Commerce

Whether it’s cashflow, budgets or keeping staff and customers safe, Black Country businesses will have a lot to plan and juggle as we begin to leave lockdown. Black Country Chamber of Commerce is working tirelessly to help, and I'm pleased to be joined by Corin Crane.

Making Budget 2020 work for Brierley Hill

Join me from the bustling Brierley Hill market as I get together with the local butcher, a property developer, the Chamber of Commerce and market management to discuss ways in which we can help our area thrive. Business rates, red tape and town centre investment all on the agenda!

Skills, Employability and Aspirations in Dudley South

Regular readers of my column will know that I have something of a passion for education and I have used my position as a Member of Parliament to push for better standards in our schools and an educational system fit for the modern day.

Following the success of last year’s event, Dudley South MP, Mike Wood, is organising his fifth annual Jobs and Careers Fair for local people to me

Does my Right Honourable Friend agree that what the steel industry, including in the Black Country, needs above all else is a long-term strategy, with a pipeline of projects that can create good opportunities for those who work in the sector?

 

Greg Clark The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Mike Wood: What steps his Department is taking to deliver economic growth through the Midlands Engine.

 

James Brokenshire The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Mike Wood: I thank the shadow Minister for giving way. His point is entirely bogus, because as the Minister made clear, and as he knows, the Bill concerns purely employers’, and not employees’, contributions, so it does not tax anybody’s redundancy payment.

 

Peter Dowd Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury

Mike Wood: Understandably, several concerns have been expressed about the impact that any changes might have, particularly on people on lower incomes who might have served in a job for many years before being made redundant. Can the Minister explain how the £30,000 threshold compares with the maximum available from statutory redundancy pay, and who might be captured by the measure?

 

Robert Jenrick The Exchequer Secretary

Mike Wood: On the example that I think the hon. Lady was starting to give, until fairly recently Reading football club had a tradition that anybody who had played for the club for 10 years received a testimonial. It was not a contractual term, but it is difficult to see how that is anything other than expected earnings as part of employment. Is it not right that it should be taxed accordingly?

 

Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy), SNP Deputy Leader

Mike Wood: What progress he has made on promoting renewable energy generation.

 

Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

Mike Wood: I welcome the progress that has been made in closing the gender pay gap and increasing the representation of women on company boards, but what are the Government doing to support low-paid, low-skilled women, who often seem to be left out of the conversation?

 

Victoria Atkins (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women)

Mike Wood: I beg to move,

That this House 
has considered beer taxation and pubs.

I am delighted to have secured this important debate, alongside Ruth Smeeth and my hon. Friend Mr Evans, and I am grateful to the Backbench Business Committee for allocating us this time.

Mike Wood’s annual Dudley South Apprenticeship Fair saw over 100 apprenti

 

Surely the hon. Lady acknowledges the Low Pay Commission’s conclusion:

“In light of this evidence we concluded when thinking about the pay floor for this age group, that it could not currently be set to the same level as the national living wage without risks to employment.”

 

Alison Thewliss

(Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government))

The shadow Minister refers to small increases in the minimum wage. An increase of 38p in the national minimum wage is now being introduced. Can she tell the House in how many of the 10 years after the introduction of the national minimum wage the Labour Government made a bigger increase than the 38p that workers will see under this increase?

 

Chi Onwurah (Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy))

 Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)

This is my first statutory instrument debate in the Chamber, and it is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is also a pleasure to follow Gillian Keegan.

Mike Wood: Given the hon. Gentleman’s comments about Jaguar Land Rover, will he join me in welcoming its decision to invest additional funds in the new petrol engine plant in Wolverhampton?

 

Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

I welcome any investment, but unfortunately employees in other parts of the Jaguar Land Rover network, and their families, do not have so much to celebrate.

Mike Wood: My hon. Friend rightly speaks about our furniture manufacturers’ reputation for high standards, which is one of the many reasons why Boss Design in my constituency has been picked to furnish the new World Trade Centre in New York. Research by the British Furniture Confederation showed that some products that come into the UK with CE approval are not properly flame resistant and can be burnt to a cinder in as little as 10 minutes, whereas a properly compliant product would self-extinguish within 10 to 15 seconds.

Mike Wood: What assessment the Government have made of the effectiveness of universal credit in helping people into work.

 

Amber Rudd The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Mike Wood: What are the Government doing to support women in their communities who are isolated as a result of poor English language skills?

 

Anne Milton (Minister of State (Education))

Mike Wood: How do the Government intend to ensure that these regulations can keep up with technological advancements and developments within these markets so that the legislation and regulations this place passes are not obsolete by the time they come into force?

 

Margot James (The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

Mike Wood: Flexibility in our labour market is to be welcomed but exploitation is not. Sadly this distinction is too often missed by those on the Labour Front Bench in their pursuit of ideological dogma. What assessment has my right hon. Friend made of the impact of banning exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts?

 

Jamie Stone Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Armed Forces)

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