Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins has given his support to proposals unveiled by Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary Jon Ashworth this week.

Labour have pledged to take action to support people on long-term sick who want to get back into the workplace. Figures have revealed that there are 547,000 people who would like to get back into employment, including 39,500 across the East Midlands.

Since the pandemic, there has been a particularly sharp uptick in economic inactivity amongst workers aged over 50. High levels of sick workers leaving the workforce have come alongside increases in the numbers relying on means-tested disability and health-related benefits.

Labour has called on the Government to take urgent action to help over-50s and the long-term sick back to work.

In recently announced plans, Labour has committed to transforming Jobcentres and employment support services. Budgets will be devolved to local areas that know their local jobs and skills needs best, and tailored support will be offered to the unemployed and inactive people who want help – with services available to a wider group of people than just those receiving unemployment benefits.

Labour will also look to expand employment programmes targeted at people with ill health, including those delivered via the NHS.

Toby said: “Everyone deserves proper and help and support to move into work. But we know that many aren’t getting the help they need. My constituents deserve a Labour government, which will be committed to delivering an employment support system that meets the needs of businesses and workers.”

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “These findings show a significant number of people across the East Midlands would be working if only they had the right support. Not only would that help raise their incomes and living standards, it would also help grow our economy.

“Labour has a plan to get Britain working again. We will give more power and flexibility to local areas to run employment support services, and ensure that Jobcentres are open and accessible to all who would benefit from targeted, specialist help as part of our ambition to target the highest employment in the G7.”

Toby Perkins  MP and Jonathan Ashworth MP
Toby Perkins MP and Jonathan Ashworth MP
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