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Employment: North Devon

Volume 737: debated on Monday 4 September 2023

The Jobcentre teams in North Devon are working day and night to fill the vacancies in my hon. Friend’s constituency. That includes inviting employers into the Jobcentre Plus each week, and having upcoming events on sector-based work academy programmes, including one that is about to happen with the NHS trust in Barnstaple.

Unemployment in North Devon is well below the national average due to the high proportion of retired people and a lack of homes those working can afford. Businesses and the public sector alike are reporting high vacancy levels. What steps is my hon. Friend taking to ensure that we do not see further business closures because of a lack of homes that workers can afford?

I visited North Devon in April to meet my hon. Friend and discuss those issues. She has my full support and that of the Department in her work to ensure that we address those problems. Clearly, those matters are being addressed on an ongoing basis by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, but I can assure her that she has my full support.