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Manufacturing Industry

Volume 512: debated on Wednesday 23 June 2010

7. When she next expects to discuss with ministerial colleagues the situation of manufacturing industry in Wales. (3038)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has discussed various aspects of the Welsh economy, including manufacturing, with ministerial colleagues and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months.

How many representations has the Minister made regarding the future jobs fund and the damaging loss of more than 600 jobs in north Wales? If he made representations, why were they so ineffective, and if he did not make representations, what is his purpose in life?

The future jobs fund is an uneconomic way of funding new employment, and it does not provide real jobs. Yesterday’s Budget statement provided firm foundations for real jobs in Wales, and that is the way that Wales will go.

Would not jobs and manufacturing in Wales be helped by a decent employment initiative? The future jobs fund has provided 500 jobs in Blaenau Gwent in recent years. It has had a terrific impact in an area with high unemployment of nearly 12%. Will the Minister or the Secretary of State please visit Blaenau Gwent? I invite them to come and find out about employment in my borough.

I refer the hon. Gentleman to my answer to the right hon. Member for Delyn (Mr Hanson), but, yes, I would be delighted to visit Blaenau Gwent. I look forward to receiving his formal invitation.