By Alan Mak, MP for Havant When I was first elected in 2015 I made one of my top priorities ensuring that our local economy remained strong, and I have worked hard to boost jobs and investment for our area over the last three years.
This week once again showed that the economy is continuing its upward momentum, with the news that wage growth is at its fastest since the financial crash.
That means pay is rising on average at more than three per cent a year, a much-deserved reward for local workers across our constituency.
Combined with the government’s overall record on job creation, that since 2010 has delivered more than three million people in work and ensured unemployment is at a 40 year low, I am proud of the strength of our economy.
Locally, our unemployment rate is just 2.1 per cent, and remains below the national average, with the number of young people out of work having fallen by 17 per cent in the last year.
At my third Jobs, Apprenticeships and Careers Fair earlier this year there were hundreds of jobs on offer, and I regularly meet local businesses investing in our local economy.
One of these is Dunham Bush, a business based just off New Lane that is one of the country’s leading manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment.
Last week I met managing director Mike Holding, who has spent more than 40 years with the company, hearing about their plans for growth.
In recent years new equipment including presses and test rigs have been added to the factory floor, and they employ a mainly local workforce from the Leigh Park and Havant area.
They are a great example of how an established local company is using innovation and new technology to thrive, securing long-term jobs for our local area. They've just received their biggest ever order.
I am also committed to helping small firms grow, and there is still money available in my Havant Business Support Fund, that I launched in partnership with the Solent LEP. Only for Havant businesses, those firms eligible can apply for between £10,000 and £75,000 to contribute towards projects that will unlock additional investment, improve business productivity and support local jobs.
Visit alanmak.org.uk/BusinessFund to find out more.