Labour today launched ambitious plans to make Birmingham ‘Britain’s capital of enterprise’ as it set out a 10 point plan which it will put into effect if it is elected to run the Council on 3 May.
The party launched the plan at the derelict site where Labour says 6,500 jobs can be created. The party has committed to publishing plans for the site within 100 days of taking office.
The launch came as new figures revealed by Labour show:
- There are now 51,685 people on the dole in Birmingham
- That’s a rise of 9% on last year
- The number of young people out of work for more than in year in Birmingham has gone up by 93% since last year
- Under Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee 1,935 18-24 year olds in Birmingham would be helped into work.
Commenting from Washwood Heath at the launch of Birmingham Labour’s 10 point plan for jobs, Liam Byrne MP said:
“With over 50,000 people in Birmingham signing on it’s clear our city is suffering from an unemployment emergency.
“People in Birmingham are tired of excuses, they need action on jobs, now.
“The number of young people out of work for a year in Birmingham is up 93% in the last year, yet complacent ministers refuse to take the decisive action they need to get young people off benefits and into work.
“Here in Birmingham 1,935 young people would be helped into work if this government brought in Labour’s Real Jobs Guarantee. Ministers should stop tinkering around the edges and bring in Labour’s plan, which would use a tax on bankers bonuses to get 110,000 young people across the country into work, into real jobs they would be required to take.
“Last month’s budget should have taken big and bold action to get Britain back to work. Instead we got a hand-out for millionaires, and a slap down for anyone on tax credits.”
As Labour launched their 10 point plan for jobs in Birmingham the Shadow Work and Pensions secretary added:
“Labour’s got ambitious plan to bring news job to this city. Here at Washwood Heath, we are surrounded by scandalously high levels of unemployment, but the Tories and Lib Dems are failing to act. Under Labour we would do much more on Birmingham’s second biggest development site, there’s potential to build on what’s here and create another 7,500.
“Birmingham needs more jobs, it’s a simple as that. Under Labour’s ten point plan, we could get this city moving again.”
Birmingham Labour’s Ten Point Plan:
1 New economic growth zones
We want to encourage the development of new strategic high value added sectors and support medium value-added businesses to grow and diversify in a cluster development model.
A hub for advanced motor manufacturing and low-carbon engineering
Birmingham and theWest Midlands can once again become a major hub for motor manufacturing advanced engineering and green and innovative technology business, building on the remarkable success of Jaguar Land Rover.
The need to adapt to climate change and reduce the dependence on traditional fossil fuels represents an opportunity for the Birmingham economy to lead the way in the development of new, low carbon technologies.
A major development site at Washwood Heath
We will bring online ambitious plans to redevelop the city’s second biggest development site where there is the potential to create 6,500 jobs, by seeking to move the proposed HS2 marshalling yard from the former Alstom/LDV site. We will initiate an immediate investigation into an alternative location.
A new Digital District for our tech businesses
Birmingham must promote the area around Digbeth for young entrepreneurs in the digital, creative and design industries that will support new knowledge economy activities and formulate innovation in older business sectors, taking advantage of the next generation 4G broadband roll-out across the city. High capacity, leading edge digital communication networks will be provided to meet the needs of both business and communities, and securing the long-term presence of the BBC.
A life sciences and medical technology campus
The area around the Queen Elizabeth Hospital/Birmingham University will be promoted as a medical technology and life sciences campus, as a catalyst for economic growth around biotechnology and related industries, to provide Birmingham and the region with an international centre for translational medicine.
Birmingham is home to one of the UK’s largest business and professional services sector with world-class banks, law firms and accountancy practices. The sector has the potential to create skilled jobs, attract further investment and expertise and develop specialisms such as Islamic finance.
Historically, the lack of a Greater Birmingham vision has frustrated a more integrated and coherent approach to co-operation between/amalgamation of economic support bodies, most recently with the emergence of a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the region. Birmingham City Council’s role should be about encouraging and facilitating coherent programmes and links with regional partners and areas internationally that help deliver the economic strategy of the city and the region.
2 Enterprise at the heart of the council’s work:
Be Birmingham, Buy Birmingham, Build Birmingham
We will bring together a team with a mandate to make Birmingham Britain’s easiest place to start and grow a business, including business opportunities for groups at the edge of the employment market, such as the City Council’s own Shelforce operation employing disabled workers from acrossBirmingham.
We will use the £7.5billion spent by public services in Birmingham to develop, wherever possible, a progressive procurement policy to buyBirmingham goods and services, creating jobs and building Birmingham’s economy.
3 Education at the heart of business growth
Labour will bring together business and the best educators in the city to introduce a Birmingham Baccalaureate that puts enterprise education centre-stage, with a network of city schools specialising in educating our entrepreneurs of tomorrow. We will ensure that, in partnership with business, there is a new focus on training to create anew citywide post-16 work-experience scheme for students in school, college and university.
4 Making our city the country’s cross-roads
The new investment in New Street station, a bigger airport plus High Speed rail will revolutionise our connections world-wide. Labour will ask Government for the power to manage central government transport funds from the Council House that will enable Birmingham to have a sustainable urban transport network.
5 Strong bridges to new markets
Birmingham’s strengths lie in its cultural diversity, young population, innovation, number of exporting companies and its location. Birmingham could significantly improve its standing as a bridgehead to overseas markets by systematically engaging the city’s universities and cultural assets as tools for raising the visibility of the city.
6 New finance for Enterprise
We know that Birmingham’s entrepreneurs need help with winning finance.
So, we will look again at a Fund forBirmingham that will build on the existing City Council Equity and Loan Funds for SMEs and provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for businesses seeking financial backing.
7 A revolution in women’s enterprise
Giving women the freedom to work can transform a family’s living standards. Today in the city, too few women have the freedom or support to work. So we will pilot new women’s enterprise hubs and we will explore how anew citymicrofinance fund could help. This proposal would have significant implications for women who have the appetite for acquiring skills but few employment opportunities.
8 A social finance revolution
Our city has been a pioneer of philanthropy – so we will work with the Big Society Bank and the Big Lottery Fund to develop a plan for how we can becomeBritain’s best place to start a social enterprise.
9 A stronger vibrant cultural scene
Entrepreneurial places are creative places. A fantastic cultural scene is therefore crucial to our goal of becoming Britain’s enterprise capital. Labour transformed the cultural scene in Birmingham. Now we need to raise our game once again, bringing together arts and culture to create a new vision in the city.
10 Shouting up for the city
We say, it’s time to stop under-selling Birmingham. So we will renew the way we project our city and our strengths here inBritainand abroad. Hundreds of thousands of people have come to our city over the generations to build one of the world’s great cities.