Oral Question: Recruitment Issues

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John Stevenson (Carlisle) (Con): Carlisle and Cumbria are starting to experience recruitment issues, and, in time, there could well be a skills shortage. In many respects, that is partly an indication of success, but that success will be further exacerbated by the potential large investment into Cumbria, which will raise issues about attracting the right people with the right skills into the county. Will the Leader of the House agree to a debate on those issues, and on what central Government can do to assist in creating the opportunities from which Cumbria can benefit?

Chris Grayling: The challenges to which my hon. Friend refers are a symbol of the success of this Government in generating real economic improvement in parts of the country that have, all too often, been left behind. In many respects, I am pleased to hear of the pressures that he describes, but clearly we have to react to them and help businesses in Cumbria to secure the skills it needs. That is why this Government’s programme to build apprenticeship numbers and other measures that we will take to improve our skills base are so important. My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise the issue.

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