As the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Dudley is proud of its heritage, but we need economic stability to deliver a prosperous future. Will the Prime Minister come to launch the new enterprise zone in Brierley Hill and look at how we can attract more investment, create new jobs and develop the highly skilled workforce that our community needs?
David Cameron (The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party)
Mike Wood: Will the Minister support employers coming into prisons to offer training, so that offenders can be better placed to find a job when they leave prison and are more likely to stay out of prison?
Andrew Selous Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice
It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Rosindell, I think for the first time. I thank the hon. Member for Sheffield Central (Paul Blomfield) for securing this debate on an extremely important issue. Before I begin, I declare an interest in that my brother works in the social care sector—he started a new role on Monday—although he is not directly affected by the issues we are discussing this afternoon.
Mike Wood: Two hundred and sixty thousand new apprenticeships have been created since the election, but the whole public sector needs to play its part if we are to meet the 3 million target to which the Prime Minister has referred. Will he ensure that every part of the public sector invests in training our young people so that we have the skills the country needs?
David Cameron The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party
The Budget builds on the Chancellor’s strong record over the past six years of restoring sanity to the public finances, rebuilding the nation’s economy and securing growth. It is a shame that the shadow Chancellor is no longer in the Chamber, but I am sure that the shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury will pass on the message that despite the shadow Chancellor’s mean-spirited comments to the Chancellor, such a feeling is not reciprocated on the Government Benches.
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many doctors were working in hospitals in the West Midlands in (a) the first quarter of 2010 and (b) the latest period for which figures are available.
Ben Gummer (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Data is not available in the format requested.
The number of full time equivalent (FTE) doctors working in the Health Education West Midlands area in the first quarter of 2010 and the latest period for which figures are available is shown in the table below:
Mike Wood: Does my hon. Friend agree that extending the system of finance so that more part-time and postgraduate students can receive funding is helping social mobility and providing greater opportunities for people who would otherwise not be able to have access to higher or postgraduate education?
Earlier, I referred to mobile businesses being within the scope of the Bill. To clarify, they are not in the Bill but the intention is to include property contained within mobile businesses in the regulations. I hope that the Minister will take that on board.
Mike Wood: I am father to two beautiful children: my seven-year-old daughter Rebecca, and my four-year-old son Ben. To them, there is no such thing as a boy’s job or a girl’s job; maths and science are not off the radar for either of them. I want them to grow up in a society where girls of all ages have choices and opportunities every bit as much as boys. That is why I am so pleased that the Government are committed to eliminating inequality at every stage of life. For women in work, this must mean earning an equal wage.
Moving more of HMRC’s work out of central London, which has some of the world’s most expensive office space, will enable it to make substantial savings. It is right that HMRC makes whatever savings it can on its property costs so that the money that it does have can be used to improve customer service and maximise tax revenues. It cannot be sustainable for its 58,000 full-time employees to be spread across 170 offices around the country, many of which, as has been, said are little more than a legacy of the 1960s and 1970s. That is highly inefficient.