THE scale of the jobs crisis is becoming more clear and I fear the worst is yet to come. I have been warning for months that without further targeted support – through ‘sector deals’ – to key industries that have been severely affected, more jobs will be lost unnecessarily. Locally, the automotive industry – which is crucial to our prosperity – is still struggling and the government have ignored my calls – together with others – to implement an economic package to stimulate demand and protect jobs. Government must act urgently to safeguard jobs before we see the worst jobs crisis in many generations.
These next two weeks are important in the academic year and I would like to congratulate students on receiving their A-level results and I wish you all well in your next steps. Unfortunately, many students will have seen their results unfairly downgraded. Awarding these results, after a disruptive year and the cancellation of exams, is inevitably difficult. But it seems that the way the government has handled this will let down so many young people.
Saturday marks Victory in Japan (VJ) Day. It marks the end of the Second World War after Japan’s surrender 75 years ago. So many British and Commonwealth soldiers lost their lives many thousands of miles from home in a ‘theatre’ of war that involved so many nations but is often overlooked. I think of those who fought to liberate Malaysia, Singapore, and other countries in the Far East, many of whom died or were incarcerated in POW camps and caught malaria or suffered dysentery and cholera. On this occasion, we must remember those who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy today and work together to ensure that we live in a peaceful society for generations to come.