Paul Carbert, Policy Adviser, North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “Unemployment has fallen over the past year, and remains low when compared to historical records. In total, there are over 40,000 fewer people out of work in the North East compared to three years ago.
Despite this positive news, the figures released this morning show that North East now has the highest rate of unemployment and the lowest rate of employment of any English region. Many Chamber members have reported plans for expansion this year, and difficulties recruiting skilled staff. This suggests that a mismatch persists between the skills available in the labour market and the needs of businesses.
The Chamber has supported links between business and education to ensure that young people leaving school are aware of all of the career opportunities available. We have also called on the Government to provide more support for small businesses to take on apprentices, and reduce the costs of recruitment and training for new staff to address skills shortages.”