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Full and Part-time Employment

Volume 570: debated on Monday 18 November 2013

Three in every four people work full-time, and full-time work accounts for all of the significant rise in employment over the last year.

The Minister has done exactly what I hoped she would do, which is to deal with the fact that whereas the Leader of the Opposition in 2010 said that the Government’s policy would lose a million jobs, my understanding is that since the election there have been more than a million new jobs, and this year more than a quarter of a million new jobs. Will the Minister put it clearly on the record that these new jobs are not all part-time jobs, that there has been a significant growth in full-time employment and that that is predicted to continue?

My right hon. Friend is correct. It is good news that UK business is creating so many new jobs. Since the 2010 election we have seen a rise of nearly 800,000 in the number of full-time jobs and of more than 300,000 in the number of part-time jobs.

With many people in my constituency, particularly women, doing a number of part-time jobs to make up an income, the knock-on consequence is that many of them do not pay national insurance and are therefore not building contributions to their pension. What is the Minister doing about this long-term consequence of too much part-time employment?

The family will accrue credit if they have family responsibilities. That is a very positive step that the Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Thornbury and Yate (Steve Webb), has taken. We can all welcome the fact that more than a million people are now in work, and more than 210,000 more women are in work this year alone.

Will the Minister join me in congratulating New College Telford, Telford college of arts and technology and Harper Adams university on providing the skills and training throughout Shropshire to ensure that unemployment continues to fall as it has done month on month for the last seven months?

I will indeed join my hon. Friend in celebrating this positive news. What is happening in his constituency is also happening in every constituency throughout the country. This is positive news that we can all celebrate.

Has a comparative assessment been made of former Remploy employees who find themselves in part-time or full-time work, and if so, will the Minister publish those findings?

I and the Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), will be publishing those findings. We have had significant success with Remploy employees. They have gained jobs at a faster rate than others who have been made redundant, and the work of the local Jobcentre Plus has been exceptional.