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The Look North Debate

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Good evening and welcome to Bradford. Unemployment is close to

:02:47.:02:51.

a 17 year high, the cost of living is rising and as the Government

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tries to balance the books we have all grown used to cuts. What hope

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is there for Yorkshire's economy? We have come to the factory floor

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at BorgWarner, they make turbos for engines. We have with us an

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audience that reflects your chair's economy. And to answer their

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questions we have key players from the world of politics, business and

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banking. This is Our Economy -- The In two days it is the Budget and

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the Chancellor will set out his plan for the economy. Many people

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feel jobs that should be George Osborne's biggest priority. In

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Yorkshire more than a quarter of a million people are looking for work

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and one in five of those are under the age of 24. My name is Leanna, I

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am 20 and have been unemployed for the last two years. I am qualified

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as a youth worker, a child practitioner and I have got Level 2

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nail technician as well. It has been hard. Since I had my son, for

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the last two years I have been doing my hardest to find work. I

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have been getting help from the JobCentre, recruitment agencies,

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and I cannot find anything. At least three or four map times a

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week I am looking for work, handing out CVs and I have not got a life

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any more, it is just looking for jobs. It is getting me down because

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I am trying so hard but I cannot find any work. Leanna is in the

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audience with us tonight. First, Julia Smith, Conservative MP, what

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is going to be in the Budget that will help Leanna? I cannot predict

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the Budget, but I am looking for us much help for hard-working families

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across Yorkshire. As much help were businesses like the one we are

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sitting in today who are competing with 18 other locations across the

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world. And as much investment as possible for the Yorkshire and

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Humber region. What about young people? She seems desperate and

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cannot get anything. The situation for young people at the moment is

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very tough and everyone in Government and in opposition it

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recognises that. We have recently introduced the youth contract which

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is creating hundreds of thousands of work placements to give young

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people work experience. This factory, as do lots of others,

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employ apprentices. 67% up on last year. Hopefully these sorts of

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measures will give people more work opportunities, but it is very tough

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at the moment. You are youth worker and you were shaking your head.

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is at times like this I feel my rebel rising up a bit. The real

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issue for me is that work experience does not lead to jobs.

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Young people are going round and round in these revolving doors with

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nothing coming out. In the end it turns out it is their fault they

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have not got a job and it is wrong. You did work experience. What has

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happened to you? I was made redundant a few months ago and I

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contacted allayed the at the Hilton Hotels and did a bit of work-

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experience there. Through my hard work and determination I apply for

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a job and I got it on Friday. I received a job. You found your own

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job. Caroline Flint, you are a Labour MP, is that the way forward?

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For some people where experience is good and positive, but it does not

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work for everybody. If you are like Leanna who has got a child to look

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after and bills to pay, and to is not living at home, where

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experience is not enough in itself. We would like to see in the Budget

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a repeat of the bank bonus tax so we can fund 100,000 jobs for young

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people. To use the money for that to use paid work to get them seal

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work-experience. More than anything else, but big picture is we need to

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jobs and growth. We have seen jobs going and not being created and we

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have seen growth stagnating for a year. For somebody like Leanna in

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child care when parents are facing huge pressures on the cost of

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living one of the things that will go well be childcare. You told us

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Labour would have a screen at whether a guaranteed work and the

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youth contract... He is not paid work, it is just work experience.

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Quite a lot of schemes have been rolled out over the past few years.

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What do you think? You feel like you are being let down. What do you

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think? I feel like I'm being let down, I do not know what I should

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do to go any further to get a job. Do you think it is down to

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politicians? Yes, I do. What would you want in the Budget? What would

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make your life easier after the Budget? For them to put more money

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towards jobs for young people because there is nothing there. I

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have been unemployed for two years and I have been doing voluntary

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work and I cannot find anywhere, so there is nothing there. What did

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the rest of you think about the way our young people are being treated?

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Are we doing enough? No, I do not think any of the parties are

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putting a realistic proposal forward to help youth unemployment.

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In October I work from Jarrett down to London, which took five weeks,

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330 miles, and we were trying to raise the issue of youth

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unemployment. What is the issue of youth unemployment? Apart from the

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numbers, what is it that you are concerned about? There is not

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enough being given to youths in the way of training, in the way of

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apprenticeships, or any of that. These schemes just seemed to be

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exploiting young people. That is why we have said you should use the

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bank bonus to have paid employment and you also need to jobs and

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growth. You are a businessman and a farmer, what do you think about

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what you have heard? First of all, we have to encourage people to come

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and look for a job. We have to make it easier to get rid of somebody

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who does not want to do the job. When I say that I do not say that

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lightly. You can only help someone from a position of strength.

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Businesses need their help so they can help the younger people and the

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more vulnerable in society and we are not doing that. There is not

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enough commonsense in Government to approach these problems. We will

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have a chat in a moment. I know you cannot go into what is in the

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Budget, but one of the things that has been mooted is a national pay

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award whether civil service will be divided by a cost of living in

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different areas. In Yorkshire it might fall. Is that likely? It is

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something we should be looking at, but as a Yorkshire MP I would like

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to see what those proposals are before commenting. Is it a good

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idea? We should be looking at every opportunity to attract jobs to

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Yorkshire. So you are from Unison union. What do you think about the

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idea? Reflecting the standard of living in different areas. I heard

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Vince Cable talking about this yesterday and justifying it on the

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basis that it looks like giving more flexibility, allowing local

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employment agencies to recognise the different costs of living in

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different parts of the country. The there is enough flexibility within

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the existing pay and grading structures in the public sector to

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be able to deal with recruitment and retention. It is an attack on

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public sector pay and that will damage our economy in Yorkshire.

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it about making the public sector more attractive? If you are in the

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public sector and have a guaranteed weight, you are not going to go to

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a private sector? What do you think of the idea? Businesses employ

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people, not Government. The media have got a lot to do with us, I am

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sorry to say. I have got three manufacturing clients, I am in

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marketing and advertising. 4th they can barely cope with the workload

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and are exporting their products which they make in Dewsbury and

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they are looking for more apprentices and they are not

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getting Government help. You are in recruitment, what do you think

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about what we have said and this disparity in what people are paid a

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nationally? This is not a new problem. When the Labour Government

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came in in 1997, Tony Blair came in on a ticket where he was going to

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get a quarter of a million off the streets and into work. Go for it,

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Tony. It is a problem that has been with us year upon year. Then used

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to be radical rethinking about this. I believe we should have a much

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closer liaison between school and work. Work should not be a dirty

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word for people in school. They should bring down the school-

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leaving age, not put it up. It is a little bit more complicated because

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what about companies that are looking to expand, but he cannot

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get the right staff. This is Tayub Amjad's story. I am Tayub Amjad and

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I have been running Zouk for the last five years in Manchester. It

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has been fantastic, we have had one of our best years ever because

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there are still customers out there. Maybe they do not spend as much or

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go out as often. We are looking at growing and expanded as a business,

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but the biggest issues we have is finding the right people for those

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jobs. Although you hear there is a lot of unemployment in the news,

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the skill set is not there and the training those people need has not

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been given to them. It is frustrating that if the Government

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does not step in and do something, as businesses we have to take the

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lead. We are looking at opening our own training college where we can

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train chefs and front of house staff bought our own expansion. --

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for our own expansion. He is with us this evening and we will hear

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from him in a few moments. First, you are an employer, is that

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something you recognise? Yorkshire economy and generally in

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the UK it is recognised there is a mismatch between what the children

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are taught at school, the kind of courses they are advised to take on,

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the intelligence is there and that data is there. What I want to know

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from politicians is why is it that these are mismatched policies, why

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are we encouraging students to go to university and take these

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courses when we know they are going to end up and not have the skills

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to go to employers have to employ them? This is that the crux of our

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debate today. It was infuriating last week when Tesco was castigated

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for their scheme. Working in Tesco, shelf stacking with the foremost

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logistics firm in the world would have been a great experience for

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young people. We need to keep these real-life experiences to our young

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people. Part of the problem at the moment is a lot of people are

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presenting and not with those interpersonal skills. Are these

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people going into these businesses without the personal skills we

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need? We are not doing enough with technology or with the soft skills,

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those things that employers want. There was a report that said we

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should do more to give employers what they want, rather than target

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You are putting young people off further education. You have trebled

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tuition fees, got rid of the E M A, belittled the occasional

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qualifications. If you go onto the education website and look at work-

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related learning, after two years, they say they are devising policy.

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You have let down young people and after two years they are getting

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nothing. What about the increases in apprenticeships in this region

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since the coalition? 70 apprenticeships in this factory, at

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friendships across the region, how do you account for that? That is a

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small minority, very highly skilled people. It is academics, this

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country have got a good academic structure but if you're not willing

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to go through the structure, go to university, there is nothing for

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you. It is great in Rotherham there is a highly skilled engineering

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work area to be built but they are for highly skilled people, people

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at university. There's nothing out there if you don't go to university.

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What do you think about what to have heard, you have been ruled out

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of higher education? It is a difficult thing in getting to that

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stage. You are led through the school system, normally from a

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young age people say do you want to go to university, and as you get

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higher up in the system, then you see the other side, there are other

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options you can take and since the coalition came in, and tuition cuts,

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you get put off. You really do. I got put off going to university. I

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thought I would not go. It led to meet not getting in because I did

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not believe I could. Your films started us off, how many people

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apply for jobs and how many are suitable? We get quite a few people

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applying for the jobs. When they turn up for interview is another

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thing. And how many are suitable? Not a lot. It is good sending

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people to university but not everyone needs to go. We need to be

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working closely with businesses, schools, colleges and businesses to

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see what skills they need. And that is the way to get rid of

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unemployment. It is right but it's not a trade-off between university

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or further education. We need all of those skills at all those levels.

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If I look it energy and low carbon is the future, there are all sorts

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of jobs from people putting solar panels on the roof to the offshore

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wind farms and carbon capture. The Yorkshire and Humberside, there's

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huge potential but there has to be a... You said you would like to set

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up a training college to meet your business needs, other businesses in

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the restaurant trade in Bradford would also benefit from that. What

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are we doing to assist you to do that? And making sure we are doing

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that in other areas. The regional growth fund, people are awarded

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money but are not getting it. And the future jobs front was cancelled.

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In this whole debate we tend to lose the point at which is that we

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must raise the productivity levels across all sectors and what's so

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alluring for politicians and the media and the business support

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sector is they all want to go for the top companies, Tesco, Asda and

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multinationals but the family companies, the small companies,

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they are too busy creating wealth, nobody it connects with them,

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please connect with them. You have abandoned the Business Link, that

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was the political philosophy gone stupid. As you are suggesting, we

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have heard people believe small and medium businesses are the key to

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the recovery in the economy. The BBC research shows an entrepreneur

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spirit in Yorkshire with thousands setting up new companies. But do

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:21:31.:21:31.

they get the support they need? My name is Bernie, I run a business.

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I employ eight people. We have cleaned the theatre, and restored a

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number of large males. Cleaning and restoration is what we are about.

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Today, we are back at the University of Bradford, finishing

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off be cleaning and restoration of the buildings around the principal

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entrance. From 2010 to 11, our sales doubled. On three occasions I

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went to my bank to say, I could do with a short-term increase in my

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overdraft to cover wages and material purchases. I did say, an

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extra 5,000 for five days. The response was know. Currently it is

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as bad as it has been in my experience. A because you have a

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triple whammy, if it isn't regulation and HMRC, it is the

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banks. It is the burden on the back of small businesses that makes it

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extremely difficult to move forward. Bernard Coleman is with us. We have

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somebody hit, Martyn Kendrick from one of the top banks. I do not

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think the future is currently with the existing banks. Most are

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secretly insolvent, and they do not have the resources or inclination

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from my judgment, to back small businesses. Backing small

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businesses is complex, 12 years ago most clearing banks got rid of

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their experienced managers because they found they could make more

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money in the City of London. We now face a situation with a huge

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financial black hole and no bank currently in my opinion is capable

:23:30.:23:36.

of tackling the job. There is merit in the Vince Cable merits --

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proposals to set up a regional bank, it would be worthwhile and some

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form of loan guarantee scheme from the government may be used for.

:23:46.:23:52.

Martyn Kendrick. The Merlin scheme was designed to get money out to

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:24:02.:24:04.

small businesses. The five banks failed. Perversely, eight out of 10

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lanes and request for credits are agreed. -- interestingly. The

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Aquino is I have a team across Yorkshire, and 90 it relationship

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with managers. When a customer wants credit, to insure we support

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the customer in their application for credit to move the business

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forward. It's about investing and sustaining businesses. But Burnet

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is desperate to make his company work -- Burnet. All the reports

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show they are loads of companies -- companies in the same boat. 80% of

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loans and requests we agree, 20% we don't. The tipping point is... It

:24:59.:25:05.

wouldn't lend -- help business if we lent money we cannot repay. Of

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we want to help if we can. Everybody wants to help, but one of

:25:14.:25:19.

the weaknesses in the economy is we need long-term finance. We need

:25:19.:25:23.

people that understand it is this is such that we can commit to a

:25:23.:25:28.

long-term business development. All we have is overdrafts and we have a

:25:28.:25:34.

banking system utterly dominated by the City of London whose view is

:25:34.:25:43.

short term. What do you make of what he says? It is a trend coming

:25:43.:25:52.

through from our members and access to finance and it isn't happening

:25:52.:25:59.

on the ground. We have a banker here, he is very brave. Nobody

:25:59.:26:03.

wants to go back to days well our tour is in debt. What is the

:26:03.:26:13.
:26:13.:26:17.

experience of people running businesses? Three years ago, the

:26:17.:26:27.
:26:27.:26:27.

bank attempted to... Yorkshire Bank.... The overdraft situation

:26:27.:26:32.

the government instructed the banks to strengthen the balance sheets

:26:32.:26:36.

and help small businesses. You cannot debate. They cannot serve

:26:36.:26:44.

two masters. They have to lend money to make money. But the pride

:26:44.:26:49.

on small businesses to make up their losses, they lost across the

:26:49.:26:53.

world. You help small businesses and people sorting out their

:26:53.:26:57.

finances, what do you make of the debate and the fact the banks say

:26:57.:27:03.

they approve as much as they can. People like Martin are genuine

:27:03.:27:07.

people and try to help customers. At the top end of the banks, you

:27:07.:27:11.

have people who have allowed the investment bankers to go to the

:27:11.:27:16.

casino with their depositors money which is why we have ended up with

:27:16.:27:21.

the crisis we have. My experience of running my own firm for eight

:27:21.:27:28.

years and advising clients is the banks are zero help in any kind of

:27:28.:27:35.

situation where you need them. Bankers want to see me, they sit in

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front of me and the pitch was send us your platinum customers and we

:27:43.:27:53.
:27:53.:27:54.

will give them 3.5% above base rate. What do you think about what's been

:27:54.:27:59.

said? A rock and a hard place, people on loans and she were not

:27:59.:28:05.

giving them. Casino banking as he defines it, we should not get mixed

:28:05.:28:08.

up between that and what we are doing with small businesses in

:28:08.:28:15.

Yorkshire. What we're trying to do for businesses in Yorkshire is

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support them and help them understand their business and if

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there is in need to support them through overdrafts and finance and

:28:23.:28:29.

also other schemes, but get the money and the funding out there for

:28:29.:28:35.

the ride is this is but a sustainable. You run a small

:28:35.:28:42.

business, what is your view about the way well-supported? In terms of

:28:42.:28:46.

the bank, I am not reliant on the bank at all for my finance and

:28:46.:28:55.

structuring. I have a bank account for suppliers to pay money in.

:28:55.:29:00.

says he is interested in your account. I am the ideal client at

:29:00.:29:05.

the moment. The thing I am really disappointed at is the loss of the

:29:05.:29:10.

Business Link and having the practical support of Business Link

:29:10.:29:15.

running courses, providing practical support for businesses

:29:16.:29:20.

like myself. I jumped on every course possible before it ended

:29:20.:29:25.

last November. Anybody setting up since, there is an internet site

:29:25.:29:31.

but not much help. It's a real shame. There's a huge amount of

:29:31.:29:37.

help. There are 48 business support schemes, tomorrow there will be

:29:37.:29:40.

announced the national guarantee scheme to make the lending issue...

:29:40.:29:46.

She says there is a nun. I have run my own business under Labour, it

:29:46.:29:54.

was increasingly difficult. It was a five-man business. Is that the

:29:54.:29:59.

future, individual MPs going around the country! Every MP, Conservative

:29:59.:30:08.

MP, is working hard with every business. Initially we start to the

:30:08.:30:14.

debate about the skills agenda, I bet the 20% of the people that you

:30:14.:30:17.

rejected were small to medium-size companies, setting up a business

:30:17.:30:21.

because they are a good business, they grew and at that level they

:30:22.:30:27.

did not have the expertise. And believe me, we do not have the

:30:27.:30:32.

support, help and support, for small businesses to actually raise

:30:32.:30:38.

their capacity, their expertise so they can put up a better business

:30:38.:30:40.

plan and expelling the formalities to do business institutions because

:30:40.:30:48.

it a moment nobody wants to know them. Business Link has gone, the

:30:48.:30:56.

Regional Development Agencies has gone. What's important is Julian is

:30:56.:31:01.

saying you are wrong, there is support but the fact is this

:31:01.:31:05.

government came in and in one fell swoop got rid of the support and

:31:05.:31:10.

has been tried to make it up and invent it again. In the meantime,

:31:10.:31:15.

when I represent businesses in my constituency in Doncaster, they

:31:15.:31:18.

have order books -- order books to fill but they need the bridging to

:31:18.:31:28.
:31:28.:31:28.

take them to the next stage and The banks seem pretty sensible in

:31:29.:31:32.

the way forward, but people feel let down. It is the other stuff

:31:32.:31:37.

that gets in the way. They do not know the support you are talking

:31:37.:31:43.

about. What is your response? have a special interest in small

:31:43.:31:48.

business and I am happy to talk to people about these issues. There is

:31:48.:31:53.

a fantastic website for any viewers watching. There are schemes at the

:31:53.:32:00.

moment offering business support. Let's stop bashing the banker,

:32:00.:32:03.

financial-services provide over 100,000 jobs in Yorkshire and

:32:03.:32:11.

Humber. Yes, we have to move on. Should the Chancellor cut taxes or

:32:11.:32:18.

cut benefits? Maybe you think you should do both. On Wednesday the

:32:18.:32:24.

Chancellor could reduce income tax for people earning over �150,000.

:32:24.:32:28.

But in two weeks time thousands of people will get less money from the

:32:28.:32:35.

Government. Mining is Katie and this is my husband Martin. We have

:32:35.:32:39.

got three children. I work in bad thing in the NHS and I have done

:32:39.:32:44.

for eight years. Martin quit his job seven years ago to look after

:32:44.:32:50.

the children because we could not afford childcare. I was working

:32:51.:32:55.

full-time until around 18 months ago and to spend more time with the

:32:55.:33:01.

children I went down 2 1/2 hours. We thought, we are OK because we

:33:01.:33:05.

have working tax credits. We got a letter in December saying they will

:33:05.:33:11.

be stopping for our family because we are not working between us 24

:33:11.:33:17.

hours a week. We try and do the shopping together and we are

:33:17.:33:21.

getting the cheapest stuff now because it is too expensive. Bread

:33:21.:33:28.

is one pound 50 a loaf now. It is a joke. We will get some sweeties

:33:28.:33:35.

later. It has put a huge strain on us, we have been arguing. Not

:33:36.:33:39.

because we hate each other, but because we do not know what is

:33:39.:33:44.

going to happen. We are worried about the future and how we are

:33:44.:33:51.

going to cope. Katie and Martin are with us this evening. Let me ask

:33:52.:33:57.

you a straight question. If we face really hard times, why should we

:33:57.:34:03.

give money to you so you can choose to stay at home? It is not a choice

:34:03.:34:10.

to stay at home. You reduced the hours to stay at home. It was only

:34:10.:34:14.

supposed to be for a year because I wanted to spend more time with the

:34:14.:34:19.

children. Martin was supposed to be getting a job in September, but he

:34:19.:34:25.

has not been able to find anything. We did not want to sponge off the

:34:25.:34:29.

state, it was there as a lifeline to fall back on and that has been

:34:29.:34:35.

taken away from us. Is that what you think? The whole thing is a

:34:36.:34:42.

joke, really. I have applied for apprenticeships. Because I am over

:34:42.:34:48.

25 it does not work in my favour. It is not beneficial for me, to be

:34:48.:34:54.

honest. Katie and Martin have a tough time of it. You deal with

:34:54.:35:01.

lots of cases, is that quite common? Yes, it is and it has

:35:01.:35:07.

become a political football. In my experience 98% of people need to be

:35:07.:35:12.

on benefits and they deserve what they get, in fact they deserve a

:35:12.:35:16.

better deal. They are being let down by the state which has not

:35:16.:35:23.

found a way to get them into more productive employment. You have got

:35:23.:35:27.

2% whose ambition is to stay on benefits all their life and they

:35:27.:35:34.

will never change. That will be difficult to change. But I do not

:35:34.:35:40.

think we should go down the route of beating up people on benefits as

:35:40.:35:46.

those that will solve the problems of the economy. It was not people

:35:46.:35:52.

on benefits he were running Goldman Sachs and lemurs. But the country

:35:52.:35:57.

is facing hard times. There are things we are being hard on people

:35:57.:36:04.

on benefits? Who thinks we need to be a little bit harder? The change

:36:04.:36:09.

to working tax credit hit 250,000 of the poorest families in our

:36:09.:36:14.

society. These are people who are working and finding it really

:36:14.:36:20.

difficult. It cannot be fair that we hit the poorest in our society

:36:20.:36:24.

at the same time the Chancellor is contemplating cutting the tax for

:36:24.:36:30.

the most rich in our society. do you make of that? I want to be a

:36:31.:36:35.

bit revolutionary. Their governments cannot solve the long-

:36:35.:36:42.

term job problem. The private sector can. In order for it to

:36:42.:36:46.

function we need to shrink the public sector. Yes, there will be

:36:47.:36:52.

hardship, but you have to face the fact that we are broke. To make our

:36:52.:36:57.

way in the world in order that we can afford some of the luxuries

:36:57.:37:03.

like education, health and benefits, we need a bigger, stronger, more

:37:03.:37:09.

vibrant private sector. I am a retired public servant and we want

:37:09.:37:15.

the Yorkshire economy to grow, but our incomes are being depressed and

:37:15.:37:20.

frozen. We are public enemy number one, irrespective of the political

:37:20.:37:25.

party, whether it is the coalition or Labour, we are public enemy

:37:26.:37:34.

number one. The next thing Francis Maude and die Alexander will be

:37:34.:37:38.

issuing bells so we can walk around leaves and ring the bells at

:37:38.:37:42.

shouting, and a clean. We do not have the extra money to spend in

:37:43.:37:47.

the economy on the small businesses that some of these people he

:37:47.:37:52.

represents. People are saying we are being squeezed and the benefits

:37:52.:37:57.

are being squeezed and the economy is being squeezed, is that the

:37:57.:38:02.

right way forward? It is at half- time with energy prices and fruit

:38:02.:38:07.

prices going up and that tough situation at Labour left us in...

:38:07.:38:12.

We get a bit sick and tired. We were told we were not to talk about

:38:12.:38:20.

the past, let's look to the future. You say that but a �1 in every four

:38:20.:38:25.

because of the mess we were left in... I do not like the ping-pong

:38:25.:38:32.

between the parties. The people who are not affected by this are the

:38:32.:38:37.

very rich, the people who created this problem. George was burnt is

:38:38.:38:46.

going to get rid of the 50% tax and there is massive tax evasion. --

:38:46.:38:52.

George Osborne. Why don't we concentrate on people evading tax?

:38:52.:38:57.

There is no need to shout and a million people have been taken out

:38:57.:39:06.

of tax... I am shirting because I am annoyed. -- shouting. Lots of

:39:06.:39:14.

people have been taken out of tax by this Government. We are talking

:39:14.:39:20.

about people earning more than �150,000 a year in the highest tax

:39:20.:39:27.

bracket. Who agrees with the 50 pence tax rate disappearing?

:39:28.:39:34.

Anybody here? What do you think? When you hear that statistic that

:39:34.:39:41.

1% of the nation pay 30% of the revenue in tax, 1% pay 30% of the

:39:42.:39:47.

revenue that gets received by HMRC, it is those people we should be

:39:47.:39:52.

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