There are a couple of common myths around jobs and opportunity. The first myth is that the rising tide lifts all boats. It doesn’t. The economic turnaround driven by this Government will have a huge effect in terms of creating jobs and raising living standards. But growth alone won’t do it.
The second myth is that if governments simply get out of the way, businesses will be free to create all the jobs a society needs. In fact, businesses depend in a whole range of areas on progressive Government policy to create the right conditions to boost employment. And in the same way, progressive governments intervene to help those who are furthest from the labour market and find it difficult to find employment.
Those two realities have underpinned everything Labour in Government has done on the jobs front. We’ve added more than 100,000 new jobs since taking office. We’ve reduced unemployment by more than a third. And we’ll reach full employment by 2018.
One successful example of progressive Government intervention to help employers and jobseekers alike is JobsPlus. Under the JobsPlus scheme, we help meet the wage costs of employers who recruit persons who have been long-term unemployed.
Thousands of jobseekers have returned to work under that scheme – the majority of whom had been out of work for two years or more. The rising tide may not necessarily have helped them. Labour in Government did – and helped employers at the same time. That’s because we are the party of work, the party of working people, and the party of opportunity.