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.