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City leaders hold urgent Bristol jobs summit

By lowie trevena, Thursday Jul 23, 2020

City leaders will host an emergency job summit in wake of a surge of redundancies in Bristol and beyond.

Bristol’s MPs, mayor Marvin Rees and leaders from the council, businesses and trade unions will seek to understand the degree of redundancies across the region and find out if there is enough support for people who lose their jobs.

Hosted by MP for Bristol West, Darren Jones, he will be joined by Thangam Debbonnaire, Kerry McCarthy, and Karin Smyth, mayor Marvin Rees and deputy mayor Craig Cheney.

Leaders from trade unions Unite, TUC, GMB, CWU and Equity will attend the meeting, as well as the senior vice president of Airbus UK, based in Filton, and James Durie from Bristol Chamber and West of England Initiative.

James Durie will attend the summit. Photo: Business West

Thousands of Bristol workers have already been told they will be redundant, with household name employers such as Airbus, Rolls Royce, Nisbets, TM Lewin, EasyJet and British Airways already announcing thousands of redundancies that will impact Bristol.

“Every single redundancy can be shattering for the families involved,” says Jones, who is also the chair of the House of Commons Business Committee.

“All of us want to make sure we’re helping redundant workers as best as possible, both in the immediate term but also by working together to help create the local businesses and jobs that we need for our economic recovery.”

The summit will also see what support is in place for new work and training opportunities.

Darren Jones MP will host the summit. Photo: Bristol24/7

According to the House of Commons Library, more than 55,000 people in the South West are claiming Universal Credit, an increase of 314 per cent from summer 2019.

The figures are likely to increase with the end of the Government’s furlough payments at the end of August 2020.

West of England Combined Authority mayor Tim Bowles will not be attending the event, despite being “provided with a significant number of date and time options over the course of a calendar month”, citing “existing diary commitments and annual leave” as his reason.

Marvin Rees and Tim Bowles. Photo: Bristol City Council

“It’s unfortunate that our regional mayor couldn’t find a spare hour within an entire month to pull together with the rest of us in trying to help local redundant workers,” said Jones on the Bowles’ absence. “I have agreed to brief the regional mayor on the conclusions of the summit on August 7 instead.”

Main photo: Darren Jones MP

Read more: Women, work and Covid-19 – building a fairer future for Bristol

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