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Conservatives to unveil economic plan for 300,000 Midland jobs

11 February 2015 – Jonathan Walker, Birmingham Post

David Cameron and George Osborne have set an ambitious target of creating 300,000 new jobs across the East and West Midlands between 2015 and 2020. The announcement is part of what they are calling a “long term economic plan for the Midlands”, which the pair are launching on a trip to the region. The plan covers both the East and West Midlands and also promises £5.3 billion of investment in transport in the region and building 30,000 new homes over the next five years.

Mr Osborne said: “Our long-term economic plan for the Midlands aims to make it an engine for growth in the UK to ensure that we have a truly national recovery. Under this government, the Midlands has been growing faster than the UK average and has created jobs at over twice the rate seen under the previous government.”

“The challenge now is to sustain this which is why the Prime Minister and I are here today setting out our plan to create 300,000 new jobs, boost the region’s growth by over £30 billion and significantly improve the quality of life.”

And in an article written for the Birmingham Post, he said: “We’re looking at how we improve transport connections here too.

“Here in the Midlands we are committing £5.2 billion to new transport infrastructure, the biggest investment here in modern history. Here in Birmingham we’re investing in the major redevelopment of New Street Station, and looking at how we unlock the full potential of High Speed Rail by developing plans for a major regeneration project in the city around Curzon Street station with local leaders.”

Improving the region’s skills base was an essential part of growing the economy, he said.

“In Birmingham I’m working with Andy Street, chief executive of John Lewis and head of the local enterprise partnership, to deliver a new service – a first in the UK – to match people with job opportunities.

“And I’m also backing the Birmingham Baccalaureate, a fantastic scheme here, which means pupils gain the skills they need to get good jobs, by working on projects with local employers. I want every secondary school in the city to be able to take advantage of it.”

Mr Cameron said: “We are building a more resilient economy to benefit hard working people across the Midlands, from its great cities to the stunning countryside of the Derbyshire Dales.

“We are already seeing more jobs and greater growth in the region, but we want to see more.

Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne have been touring the country to announce long term economic plans for each region.