25 November 2011

Dear Nick

I am writing following today’s announcement from the Government on a ‘Youth Contract’, which includes employer subsidies as well as additional work experience placements and apprenticeship incentives.

Liam Byrne MP, Labour's Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said on today's unemployment figures:

"This is a day of misery on Britain’s jobs front. Today we have the clearest and starkest evidence yet that the Government’s plan for growth is hurting not helping Britain. Our unemployment is now climbing faster than the Eurozone, Japan and America and we are now losing three times more jobs than we are creating.

Jonathan Portes, National Institute of Social and Economic Research


BBBC News Channel

Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Speakers         Simon McCoy

Jonathan Portes


I've now got figures on the level of damage the abolition of EMAs is going to inflict on Birmingham's younger citizens. Nearly 20,000 young Birmingham citizens receive EMAs - that's up 55% in the last 5 years.

Here's the response I got from the House of Commons library this week.

Thought I would start what will be a tough year with some good news - the extraordinary turn-around in the number of our young people going to university. This is a major priority for me over the next five years - and has been a big part of my work over the last five years.

It was a great pleasure to help launch an inspiring new book - 'Of Good Character' - at St Anne's College, Oxford last night. The book draws on over two years worth of research I've sponsored in Hodge Hill schools, led by a team headed by my friend Professor James Arthur of Birmingham University.

In between meetings with our new police commanders in East Birmingham and the city council's chief executive, I did my weekly school gate surgery at Heathlands, where I had the great privilige of handing over the school's first award to Citizen of the Week, Maya Headley.

Friday saw me back to Highfield Road Childrens Centre today, which I had the privilige of opening in 2007. The team here have done an incredible job enriching facilities at the centre for their 144 young people, and running an amazing family support service including health services and supporting parents in their first steps back to work.

We'll be working closer in the future to make sure local services are coordinating their support to parents better.