Wednesday, 16 July 2008


A regular reader has drawn my attention to the reply from a Parliamentary Question asked by our South Thanet MP, Dr Syephen Ladyman and his press- release. I show it below.

Working Neighbourhoods Fund delivers £1,012,404 for Thanet.
The Government has confirmed that Thanet is to receive over £1m to tackle worklessness in 2008/9 and will receive further funding next year and the year after. The confirmation came in an answer to a Parliamentary Question tabled by local MP Stephen Ladyman 'Unemployment remains the number one priority for Thanet in my view and helping people who have found it difficult to get back into work for some time is vital. First we need to create more jobs in Thanet. Secondly, we need to help people get skills, deal with their health problems and face up to the responsibility of working and contributing. This funding from Government gives us a real chance to make a difference' said Dr. Ladyman speaking from Westminster.
'Thanet Council has complete freedom over how the money is spent. In my view they need to target it at the areas of greatest need like Ramsgate, Cliftonville and parts of Margate but they should set up programmes that people wherever they live in Thanet can use. I just hope that they don't throw this opportunity away - this is a huge opportunity to really tackle Thanet's number one problem.'
Various Kent bodies have reported in recent months about the drastic 'skills shortage' in the work force in Thanet. There is really no point in even contemplating the installation of China Gateway at Manston as a means of providing jobs for Thanet people and our large pool of 'long term un-employed' until the potential work force is trained and available.
It will be interesting to see how this most recent funding stream is to be used. My enquiries into European funding into Thanet over the past few years seems to show that literally 'millions' of pounds of tax-payers money have been poured into Thanet and yet the unskilled pool of un-employed stays at the same high persistent level.? Why should this be the case and will this latest 'tranche' of funding make any difference.
Here's a simple question I cannot get a clear answer to; How many Thanet people are actually employed at Cummins? They are currently employing over 500 people (f/t and p/t) at Manston Business Park.


Anonymous said...

Surely all that money is to teach councillors to swear at each other more effectively?

Anonymous said...

(1) If a person has sat on jis/her arse on benefits waiting for training package to be brought to them, they are not worth investing public money in.

(2) There is no such thing as Thanet's unemployed. There are unemloyed British people living in Thanet. In some Modlands cities there are 800 job vacancies per week advertised. So why should we pat anyone to be unemployed when there are vacancies in the country ? They should move to take work.

(3) Divide the million quid by the number of unemployed and the numbers reckoned to be forced off incapacity benefits after the new all work test (Sept 2008 .. if you can use a keyboard and mouse you are fit for work). And just give them a training voucher each for a quids worth of training per week.

Ladyman once again spouting bollocks

Tony Beachcomber said...

Bertie, using Cummings as a role model for manufacturing regeneration in Thanet is really a bit of a no no. The company only located where it is because Pfizer bought out their old site and because the Sandwich site was classed outside Thanet, it was classed as a company locating in Thanet, which was a clever move by all involved considering all the regeneration money being banded about at the time.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Annon 20:58, what on earth are you on about.

Bertie Biggles said...

Tony, sorry about the un-wanted vistor. I agree with you about Cummins; you are absolutely right. I am glad they have managed to expand since 1999 because at one stage having re-located here to the 'green-field' site, courtesy of a great deal of Euro-funding they were actually laying people off! The point I am trying to make is how many of the present larger work-force are actually Thanet based? (the reason for the original funding to re-locate a few miles over the border from Dover DC).

Tony Beachcomber said...

Bertie, the employment set up in engineering has changed over a number of years. Most firms like cummins have permanent multi skilled core workers and when the long term order book is good they employ agency workers. In east kent there is a pool of engineering workers that do the agency work working form factory to factory. This is a short term solution, because the problem is that where core workers are constantly trained upto date by their employers , agency workers have no opportunity to improve their skills base. This is one reason why there is a skill shortage in east kent as a whole and it will get worse.

Anonymous said...

How many of the workforce envisaged to build these warehouses will come from Thanet? How many workers employed will be local? How many of the Thanet Earth sunglasses-wearing workers will be local? All these schemes get support because they dangle the jobs carrot -We'll employ 500/10003000/everyone in Thanet so you must give us permission!!! We all know in reality it'll be a fraction of the number, skilled-workers from elsewhere who are willing to re-locate. Local farmers are currently using Poles to plant their cabbages because they'll do the work, accept the wages and be grateful for the chance.

We moved here due to my husband's job. My kids moved away for work. My parents moved to where they could get work. My in-laws did the same. My ancestors moved to where there were jobs. Why do locals think the jobs must be on their doorstep? Ramsgate folk won't go to Margate. I have a friend with her own car who eventually had to take a job in (shock, horror) Canterbury when her benefit ran out.

No-one owes you anything. You have to go out there and find it for yourself.